Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. 
Respiratory arrest is the cessation of the normal tidal flow of the lungs due to paralysis of the diaphragm, collapse of the lung or any number of respiratory failures. It is a medical emergency and it usually is related to or coincides with a cardiac arrest. If respiratory arrest is prolonged, cardiac arrest quickly follows because progressive hypoxemia impairs cardiac function. Impending respiratory arrest is characterized by a depressed sensorium and feeble, gasping, or irregular respirations, often with accompanying tachycardia, diaphoresis, and relative hypertension due to agitation and CO2 accumulation.
Usually fluid will begin to build up in the lungs; in some cases it will also need to be drained or removed. If this is not stopped immediately the subject may drown in their own fluids: although this is rare, it can occur.
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