Hypoventilation is too shallow or too slow breathing, which does not 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.
Wagner PD, Powell FL, West JB. Ventilation, blood flow, and gas exchange. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. Murrayand Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 4.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.