Respiratory Distress (Breathing Difficulty): Estimation by Telephone
Mild Respiratory Distress:
rapid respiratory rate (tachypnea)
Mild wheezing and chest tightness may also be present.
Urgency of referral varies
Moderate Respiratory Distress:
labored breathing with some retractions and nasal flaring.
If present, wheezing is now audible, tight and persistent (i.e. can hear over the telephone)
Response: Go to ED Now by car
Severe Respiratory Distress:
marked respiratory effort (struggling to breathe) and severe retractions.
Cyanosis may occur.
Breathing may stop (apnea).
The other extreme is the slow, weak breathing (agonal breathing) that precedes apnea.
Response to all of these: Call EMS 911 Now