Uprasternal and Intercostal Retractions.

Uprasternal and Intercostal Retractions.

Uprasternal and Intercostal Retractions.

Uprasternal and Intercostal Retractions.

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Module 5: Discussion Brian is a 7-year-old boy who presents to the primary care office with his mother. His mom has noticed that Brian has been coughing frequently and seems to have shortness of breath at times. She reports that Brian had a “cold” with a low grade fever and runny nose about 2 weeks ago and the symptoms seem to appear after the cold. On physical examination, Brian appears in moderate respiratory distress, with suprasternal and intercostal retractions. His vital signs include a temperature of 100 A°F, a respiratory rate of 32 breaths per minute, heart rate of 120 beats per minute, and pulse oximetry of 95% on room air. Lung exam is notable for diffuse symmetrical expiratory wheezes. His nasal mucosa is erythematous with boggy turbinates and clear mucus. The remainder of the exam is unremarkable. 1. Based on this case, discuss the differences in the pathophysiology for asthma vs pneumonia. Include your thougths as to the diagnosis for this case.

Intercostal retractions occur when the muscles between the ribs pull inward. The movement is most often a sign that the person has a breathing problem.

Intercostal retractions are a medical emergency.

Considerations

The wall of your chest is flexible. This helps you breathe normally. Stiff tissue called cartilage attaches your ribs to the breast bone (sternum).

The intercostal muscles are the muscles between the ribs. During breathing, these muscles normally tighten and pull the rib cage up. Your chest expands and the lungs fill with air.

Intercostal retractions are due to reduced air pressure inside your chest. This can happen if the upper airway (trachea) or small airways of the lungs (bronchioles) become partially blocked. As a result, the intercostal muscles are sucked inward, between the ribs, when you breathe. This is a sign of a blocked airway. Any health problem that causes a blockage in the airway will cause intercostal retractions.

 

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