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What causes tachypnea and tachycardia with pneumonia?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr John Norris
Cardiology - Cardiac Electrophysiology

In brief: Normal physiology

Tachypnea (fast breathing) and tachycardia (fast heart beat) are both common in patients with pneumonia.
Fast breathing is due to impaired gas exchange in the lungs related to the infection, and will improve as the infection is treated. Fast heartbeat is related to the increased adrenaline and sometimes a bit of dehydration associated with the fever that often accompanies the infection.

In brief: Normal physiology

Tachypnea (fast breathing) and tachycardia (fast heart beat) are both common in patients with pneumonia.
Fast breathing is due to impaired gas exchange in the lungs related to the infection, and will improve as the infection is treated. Fast heartbeat is related to the increased adrenaline and sometimes a bit of dehydration associated with the fever that often accompanies the infection.
Dr John Norris
Dr John Norris
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Dr John Leander Po
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease

In brief: Homeostasis-

Pneumonias results in decreased gas exchange in the lungs - leads to less oxygen delivery to the cells of the body, and increased acid waste products.
As a relatively quick way to compensate , your heart rate (tachycardia) and breathing rate (tachypnea) increases in order to speed up oxygen delivery and blow off the waste acid products.

In brief: Homeostasis-

Pneumonias results in decreased gas exchange in the lungs - leads to less oxygen delivery to the cells of the body, and increased acid waste products.
As a relatively quick way to compensate , your heart rate (tachycardia) and breathing rate (tachypnea) increases in order to speed up oxygen delivery and blow off the waste acid products.
Dr John Leander Po
Dr John Leander Po
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