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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.


A person with hypoventilation might feel sleepy.


Wagner PD, Powell FL, West JB. Ventilation, blood flow, and gas exchange. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010:chap 4.

Update Date 2/2/2015