Rapid shallow breathing can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'generally fatal'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose rapid shallow breathing, we could:
|Pulmonary Embolism||1%||Ruled out|
|Congestive Heart Failure||1%||Ruled out|
Do you ever breathe rapidly, taking many short/shallow breaths instead of longer, deeper breaths? At rest, an adult normally breathes in and out once every 4 to 8 seconds.
Possible responses:→ Don't know
→ No, I breathe at a normal rate
→ Yes, I sometimes breathe rapidly while at rest
→ Yes, I often/always breathe rapidly while at rest