Polypnea and Hyperpnea: Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

It is defined as the elevation of the deep respiratory frequency, which occurs in children, adults, and the elderly.

It is essential to identify which type of breathing the person or child is presenting to help the doctor diagnose and provide the treatment appropriate to your child or family member. This pattern can be associated with other types of variation in respiratory frequency, such as tachypnea since it also manifests with shallow rapid breathing above twenty breaths in one minute.

Definition of Hyperpnea

It is defined as the increase of depth in breathing when necessary to satisfy the metabolic demand of tissues in the body, such as during or after exercise, or when the body lacks oxygen, in cases of altitude or as a result of anemia.

It is for this reason that according to this definition, it is implied that the Polipnea is the union between the Hyperpnea and the tachypnea since the person breathes with more significant acceleration presenting inspiration and a deep exhalation.

The Polipnea thus establishes the so-called Kussmaul Breathing, which is caused by a complication of diabetes. This mode of breathing was described by the German Adolph Kussmaul in 1874 when analyzing the manifestations that presented the People who suffered from a diabetic coma or diabetic ketoacidosis.

Causes of the Polypnea

  • Bronchial asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Episodes of Sepsis
  • Falla Multiorganica
  • Shock


  • Cyanosis peribucal
  • Intercostal drafts
  • Retracciones supra e infraclaviculares
  • Inspiration and prolonged breathing
  • Respiratory frequency above twenty breaths per minute
  • Tachycardia


  • Proper supply of drugs for the Polina
  • An adequate supply of medications for the underlying disease.
  • Supplemental oxygen under nasal cannula, venturi mask, or non-inhalation.
  • If necessary, mechanical ventilation.
  • Inhalers to improve dyspnea
  • Nebulizations

Antibiotics if there are signs of infection