Observe the rate, rhythm, depth, and effort of breathing. Count the number of respirations in 1 minute either by visual inspection or by subtly listening over the patient's trachea with your stethoscope during your examination of the head and neck or chest. Normally, adults take 14 to 20 breaths a minute in a quiet regular pattern. An occasional sigh is normal. Check to see if expiration is prolonged.
See Table 3-12, Abnormalities in Rate and Rhythm of Breathing (p. ___)
Prolonged expiration suggests narrowing in the bronchioles.
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