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Supportive Care in Respiratory Disease$
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Sam H. Ahmedzai, David R. Baldwin, and David C. Currow

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199591763

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199591763.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 August 2021

The genesis of breathlessness: what do we understand?

The genesis of breathlessness: what do we understand?

(p.71) Chapter 5 The genesis of breathlessness: what do we understand?
Supportive Care in Respiratory Disease

Jeremy B. Richards

Richard M. Schwartzstein

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms that contribute to the sensation of breathlessness. The goal is to improve understanding of the processes and signals that cause this symptom so that the practising physician will be able to apply these principles when evaluating and treating a patient who complains of shortness of breath. Dyspnoea or breathlessness is defined as ‘breathing discomfort’. The case of Ms Smith, a seventy-two-year-old former smoker with end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is considered throughout the chapter and relevant physiological processes are framed in the context of her clinical course.

Keywords:   pathophysiological mechanisms, breathing, shortness of breath, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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