Eupnea – Breathing Rate, What is it?

Definition: it has to do with the respiratory rate (also known as ventilation).

This frequency is the number of breaths a person takes for one minute. Another definition is that Eupnea is natural respiration in all mammals, including humans.

And that does not require effort at will; this happens when a mammal is in a natural state of relaxation when there is no present and clear danger in their environment.

When a mammal perceives a potential danger, the Eupnea stops, and a much more limited and complex way of breathing occurs.

It is usually measured at rest while the person to whom the calculation is taken is sitting, without agitation or alteration of the breathing pattern, all to take an estimate as accurately as possible.

The respiratory rate is defined as the number of breaths a person takes during one minute while at rest.

Recent studies suggest that an accurate record of respiratory rate is vital in predicting severe medical events.


Studies also suggest that respiratory rate measurements are not made as often as possible, so the “ignored vital sign” has been coined.

The average respiratory rate depends on age, resting or active, and your lung health. It is measured as the number of breaths taken per minute and is a practical and easy way to monitor general health.

Rapid shallow breathing may indicate lung and other diseases, anxiety, or panic while breathing speed slows down under sedation or anesthesia and may occur when there is an overdose of drugs or other prescription medications.

Medical research suggests that the respiration rate is the marker of lung dysfunction. Patients breathe more often at rest with the advance of many chronic health conditions.

Normal respiratory rate

Also called Eupnea, medical textbooks suggest that the average breathing rate for adults is only 12 breaths per minute. Older books often provide even smaller values ​​(for example, 8-10 breaths per minute).

Most modern adults breathe much faster (approximately 15-20 breaths per minute) than their average respiratory rate. Patients’ respiratory rates are usually higher, usually around 20 breaths/minute or more.

Numerous studies attest that respiratory rates in terminally ill patients with cancer, HIV-AIDS, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions are usually more than 30 breaths/minute.

 Effects of increased respiratory rate

When we breathe more than the medical norm, we lose CO2 and reduce the oxygenation of the body due to vasoconstriction and the effect of suppressed Bohr caused by hypocapnia (CO2 deficiency).

Therefore, excess respiration leads to the reduction of cellular oxygenation, while slower and easier breathing (with lower respiratory rates) improves the oxygen content of the cell.

Breathing frequency according to age

From birth to 6 years of age

A newborn has an average respiratory rate of 30-60 breaths per minute. This rapid breathing continues as the baby grows and begins to slow down around six months of age.

At one year, the average respiratory rate has decelerated to around 24-40 breaths per minute and remains at this rate until about three years. From three to six years, the average respiratory rate while at rest slows down further to around 22-40 breaths per minute.

From six to twelve years

School-age children have an average respiratory rate, also known as respiratory rate, of 18-30 breaths per minute while resting.

An increase in the rate may indicate illness or occur when the child is on medication for asthma or allergies. Parents should be aware of their child’s average breathing rate to be alert to potential health problems when there is a significant change.


Teens usually have strong hearts and lungs and are at the peak of physical fitness. Their regular breathing rate when they rest is the lowest of any age group, bringing them to only 12-16 breaths per minute.

Teens significantly outside that range must undergo testing. These could include finding thyroid problems such as the metabolic rate can affect breathing or blood tests to detect drugs that can increase or decrease the average breathing rate.


An adult at rest should take 12-20 breaths per minute. Higher respiratory rates can be caused by stress, poor altitude acclimation, and respiratory diseases.

During exercise, a healthy young adult takes about 35-45 breaths per minute, while in some endurance sports, athletes can breathe 60-70 times per minute.

As people get older, they tend to breathe more shallowly and, therefore, more often to get enough oxygen in their blood.

Measurement of respiratory rate

The respiratory rate is measured by counting the number of breaths a person takes in one minute. Since many factors can affect the results, it is essential to understand how to bring an exact measurement.

The rate should be measured at rest, not after someone has been up and walking.

Being aware that your breaths are being counted can make results inaccurate since people often alter the way they breathe if they know it is being monitored.

Nurses are skilled at overcoming this problem by discretely counting the breaths and seeing the number of times the chest goes up and down, often while pretending to take the pulse.

While the respiratory rate is recorded, other markers of respiratory problems can also be observed.

Is your patient or your loved one uncomfortable? Do the muscles in your neck tense while you breathe? (Medical professionals call this “the use of accessory muscles” to live.) Can you hear wheezing or other abnormal breathing sounds?

Number of breaths

The number of breaths we take per minute is how often our brain is telling our bodies to breathe.

If the oxygen level in the blood is low, or if the level of carbon dioxide in the blood is high, our body is instructed to breathe more often.

For example, having a severe infection increases the carbon dioxide produced in the body. Even if there is an average oxygen level in the blood, the brain commands the body to breathe more often to eliminate carbon dioxide.