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Chest retractions are a sucking in of the skin in between or around
the bones of the chest when inhaling. Retractions may occur in several areas of
the chest and are a sign of increased use of the chest muscles for breathing.
This usually is a sign of difficulty breathing.
As breathing becomes more difficult, areas of the chest where
retractions can be seen increase.
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& David Messenger, MD
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