Alternate these techniques until your
If hyperventilation continues for longer than 30 minutes,
call your doctor immediately.
Do not use a paper bag if:
You have any heart or lung problems, such as coronary artery
disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, emphysema), or a
history of deep vein thrombosis, stroke, or pulmonary
Rapid breathing occurs at a high altitude [above
6000 ft (1829 m)]. Breathing
faster than normal is a natural response to an increased altitude.
Follow these precautions when using
the bag method:
Do not use a plastic bag.
breathe continuously into a paper bag. Take 6 to 12 natural breaths, with a
paper bag held over your mouth and nose, then remove the bag from your nose and
Do not hold the bag for the person who is hyperventilating.
Allow the person to hold the bag over his or her own mouth and nose.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.