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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Hypoventilation

Definition

Hypoventilation is breathing that is too shallow or too slow to meet the needs of the body.

If a person hypoventilates, the body's carbon dioxide level rises. This causes a buildup of acid and too little oxygen in the blood.

Symptoms

A person with hypoventilation might feel sleepy.

References

Powell FL, Wagner PD, West JB. Ventilation, blood flow, and gas exchange. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 4.