EMT Exam: Recognizing Normal Cardiovascular Findings
EMT Exam Practice Questions and Answers
EMT Exam: Assessment Tips for Treating a Pediatric Patient

EMT Exam Practice Questions about the Airway, Respiration, and Ventilation

The following practice questions are similar to the NREMT EMT exam’s questions. Read each question carefully and then select the answer choice that most correctly answers the question. This will help you figure out what you need to know.

Sample questions

  1. At a drugstore, an adult patient presents with cool, pale, and diaphoretic skin and difficulty breathing, with wheezing auscultated in both lungs. Bystanders report the patient walked in 5 minutes ago, unable to talk and very short of breath. His heart rate is 126, his blood pressure is 90/60 mm Hg, and his respiratory rate is 24 breaths per minute. He is able to follow simple commands. You should

    • (A)administer low-flow oxygen via a nasal cannula.

    • (B)perform abdominal thrusts.

    • (C)assist the patient with his prescribed epinephrine autoinjector.

    • (D)assist ventilations with a bag-valve mask and oxygen.

  2. An elderly female presents supine in her bed, alert and in respiratory distress. You can hear audible crackles as she breathes. Her blood pressure is 240/120 mm Hg, her heart rate is 100 and irregular, and her respiratory rate is 22 breaths per minute. You should immediately

    • (A)begin bag-valve-mask ventilations with supplemental oxygen.

    • (B)place her into a sitting position, with her feet dangling over the edge of the bed.

    • (C)administer low-flow oxygen via a nasal cannula.

    • (D)turn her left lateral recumbent and administer high-flow oxygen via a nonrebreather mask.

  3. A 72-year-old male with a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been increasingly short of breath over the past 24 hours. He reports having a fever, chills, and a cough over the past ten days. His skin is warm, pale, and dry; his breathing rate is 24 times a minute. You should

    • (A)administer low-flow oxygen via nasal cannula.

    • (B)administer high-flow oxygen via a nonrebreather mask.

    • (C)administer medium-flow oxygen via a venturi mask.

    • (D)encourage him to cough.

  4. A 13-month-old child presents in his parent’s arms and is in respiratory distress. The parent reports the child has had a fever, runny nose, and decreasing appetite in the past four days. The child cries when you examine him. He has a nonproductive cough and warm, flush skin. His breathing rate is 30 times per minute, and his heart rate is 120. You should

    • (A)assist ventilations with a pediatric bag-valve mask and oxygen.

    • (B)suction the nose and mouth with a bulb syringe.

    • (C)administer oxygen using the blow-by technique.

    • (D)administer pediatric acetaminophen.

  5. A 21-year-old male complains of chest tightness and difficulty breathing after a fight with his girlfriend. His respiratory rate is 34, his heart rate is 110, and his blood pressure is 136/90 mm Hg. He feels tingling around his face and in his hands. His skin is pale, warm, and dry. You should

    • (A)administer low-flow oxygen via a nonrebreather mask.

    • (B)coach the patient to rebreathe his breath with a paper bag.

    • (C)help the patient into a supine position.

    • (D)administer low-flow oxygen via a nasal cannula.

  6. An elderly male presents with sudden stridor, coughing, and wheezing at a restaurant. His skin is pale, warm, and diaphoretic. Patrons report that the patient was enjoying his lunch when this episode began. You detect a strong radial pulse. Your next step is to

    • (A)encourage the patient to continue coughing.

    • (B)deliver abdominal thrusts.

    • (C)administer low-flow oxygen via nasal cannula.

    • (D)inspect the patient’s mouth.

  7. A 72-year-old female presents supine in bed, responsive to painful stimulus by moaning. Her respiratory rate is 12 breaths per minute and shallow. Her heart rate is 126, and her blood pressure is 78/60 mm Hg. You hear diminished lung sounds bilaterally and crackles throughout. Her skin is pale, cold, and clammy. You should

    • (A)administer low-flow oxygen via nasal cannula.

    • (B)administer high-flow oxygen via a nonrebreather mask.

    • (C)ventilate with a bag-valve mask and oxygen.

    • (D)have her sit up with her feet dangling off the side of the bed.

  8. A 30-month-old child presents sitting on the edge of her bed, appearing short of breath. Parents report she has had a fever and body chills and aches for 36 hours. Her skin is hot, pale, and dry. She nods her head when you speak but doesn’t say anything herself. You can hear stridor, and you observe that she is drooling. Which of the following procedures should you perform?

    • (A)Inspect her mouth, using a tongue depressor.

    • (B)Suction her mouth by inserting a rigid-tip catheter.

    • (C)Maintain her position of comfort and transport her.

    • (D)Administer high-flow oxygen via a nonrebreather mask.

Answers and explanations

  1. C. The scenario is vague, but you have enough information to deduce that the patient is experiencing anaphylaxis. Being at the drugstore, he may have been seeking medications to correct his anaphylactic reaction. His vital signs and poor lung sounds also support a suspicion of anaphylaxis.

  2. B. The scenario suggests pulmonary edema as a result of congestive heart failure (CHF).

  3. A. The scenario suggests a history of infection, specifically pneumonia. His skin signs suggest that low-flow oxygen will be adequate.

  4. C. Although the child is ill, his vital signs are within the normal range for his age. He is alert and recognizes your presence. Blow-by oxygen may help reduce the respiratory distress, and won’t be as claustrophobic to the child as a mask placed over his face.

  5. D. Although his condition appears to be psychogenic hyperventilation, a pulmonary embolus can also have the same signs and symptoms.

  6. A. The sudden onset and location of the sound strongly suggest a partially obstructed airway.

  7. C. Your clinical findings suggest she is in respiratory failure and possible cardiogenic shock. She requires assisted ventilation in order to promote gas exchange.

  8. C. The presentation suggests epiglottitis and that soft tissue in the upper airway is swelling. You don’t want to take the chance of irritating that airway.

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