What should be assessed during a respiratory assessment?

What should be assessed during a respiratory assessment?


  • Check the rate of respiration.
  • Look for abnormalities in the shape of the patient’s chest.
  • Ask about shortness of breath and watch for signs of labored breathing.
  • Check the patient’s pulse and blood pressure.
  • Assess oxygen saturation. If it is below 90 percent, the patient likely needs oxygen.

How do you assess chest and lungs?

The pulmonary examination consists of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. The inspection process initiates and continues throughout the patient encounter. Palpation, confirmed by percussion, assesses for tenderness and degree of chest expansion.

How do you check anterior chest?

Assess the front, back, and sides of the chest for any scars, wounds, or lesions. Look for symmetry of chest wall movement. Observe the duration of the inspiratory/expiratory cycle. Prolonged expiration occurs when an individual has difficulty expelling air, as is often seen in patients with emphysema.

What is the purpose of a respiratory assessment?

THE PURPOSE of respiratory assessment is to ascertain the respiratory status of the patient and to provide information related to other systems such as the cardiovascular and neurological systems. Breathing is usually the first vital sign to alter in the deteriorating patient.

How is an anterior chest wall assessment performed?

Anterior chest wall assessment can be performed with the patient supine or in a sitting position (Jarvis 2007). Both the anterior and posterior chest wall should be auscultated with the diaphragm of the stethoscope over a large number of equal positions to ensure that localised abnormalities are not missed (figure 5 a & b).

What do you need to know about a respiratory assessment?

The final component required to complete a comprehensive respiratory assessment is auscultation of the anterior and posterior chest wall. When performed in conjunction with percussion, auscultation can help to assess the condition of the surrounding lungs and pleural space (Bickley 2008).

Where do you Percus on the anterior chest wall?

With the patient in an upright seated position, with the scapulae protracted; percuss on the posterior chest wall; either side of the mid-clavicular line in the interspaces at 5cm intervals. Ensure you percuss from side to side and top to bottom (omitting areas covered by the scapulae). Repeat for the anterior chest.

How to listen to the posterior side of the chest?

When listening to the posterior side of the chest the arms need to definitely be in the lap so the scapulae are separated. Have patient breathe in and out through mouth slowly while listening. Allow the patient to set the pace to prevent hyperventilating , especially patients with breathing disorders like COPD.