With hypoventilation or respiratory depression is called an inadequate gas exchange of the organism respiration, which can be too superficial or too slow. This leads to an increase in the blood of carbon dioxide ( hypercapnia ) by respiratory acidosis and to an increase in carbon dioxide partial pressure. Danger of suffocation.
For diagnosis, blood gas analysis or as a continuous and non- invasive monitoring transcutaneous Kohlenstoffdioxidpartialdruck measurement ( pCO ₂) serves.
The causes are:
- Paralysis of the respiratory muscles
- Obstructive and restrictive pulmonary dysfunction
- Disorder of the central nervous system respiratory control ( for example, opioids or narcotics).