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Respiratory arrest

Respiratory arrest
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 R09.2
ICD-9-CM 799.1
eMedicine article/167981

Respiratory arrest is the cessation of normal breathing due to failure of the lungs to function effectively.

A respiratory arrest is different from (but may be caused by) a cardiac arrest, where the heart muscles fail to contract, and can also be the result of prolonged apnea - breathing then slows down or stops.[1]

Respiratory arrest prevents delivery of oxygen to the body. Lack of oxygen to the brain causes loss of consciousness. Brain injury is likely if respiratory arrest goes untreated for more than three minutes, and death is almost certain if left untreated for more than five minutes. For the best chance of survival and recovery, immediate and decisive treatment is imperative.

Respiratory arrest is a medical emergency that, in certain situations, is potentially reversible if treated early. The treatment for respiratory arrest is artificial ventilation.


See also


  1. ^ Medline Plus. "Breathing-slow or stopped."
  2. ^ National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. "What Causes Respiratory Failure?"

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