Hyperventilation occurs when a person breathes too deep and muchfaster than normal. It is often the result of fear or anxiety and is more likely to occurin people who are nervous or tense.

People who are hyperventilating say they feel as though they are notgetting enough air when they breathe. They will also complain of tingling and numbness tothe arms, hands and legs. A person’s hands and fingers may begin to feel cramped.Hyperventilatingpatients will NOT have blue lips or skin.


  • Victim is breathing faster than normal
  • Victim states that extremities feel numb and tingly
  • Victim may feel anxious, fearful or tense.


  • Try to calm the victim
  • Reassure the victim
  • Keep the victim in a sitting position.
  • Watch for other signs of respiratory distress
  • It is not recommended that the victim breath into a paper bag

Hyperventilation can be a sign of a more complicated emergency. Ifnormal breathing does not improve or return in a few minutes, then call 911.