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Encyclopedia > Vital signs

Vital signs are often taken by health professionals in order to assess the most basic body functions. Vital signs are an essential part of a case presentation. The delivery of modern health care depends on an expanding group of highly trained professionals coming together as an interdisciplinary team. ... A formal communications between health care professionals (doctors, nurses, therapists, nutrientist etc. ...


Primary four

There are four vital signs which are standard in most medical settings:

  1. temperature examination for normal temperature
  2. pulse rate (or heart rate)
  3. blood pressure
  4. respiratory rate

The equipment needed is a thermometer, a sphygmomanometer, and a watch. Taking a patients temperature is an initial part of a full clinical examination. ... Thermoregulation is the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within certain boundaries, even when temperature surrounding is very different. ... Temperature is also the name of a song by Sean Paul. ... In medicine, a persons pulse is the throbbing of their arteries as an effect of the heart beat. ... Heart rate is a term used to describe the frequency of the cardiac cycle. ... Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessels. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Minute volume. ... A thermometer is a device which measures temperature or temperature gradient, using a variety of different principles. ... Mechanical sphygmomanometer with aneroid manometer and stethoscope Digital sphygmomanometer A sphygmomanometer or blood pressure meter is an inflatable cuff used to measure blood pressure. ... A wrist watch A watch is a small portable clock that displays the time and sometimes the day, date, month and year. ...

Though a pulse can often be taken by hand, a stethoscope may be required for a patient with a very weak pulse. Stethoscope The stethoscope (Greek στηθοσκόπιο, of στήθος, stéthos - chest and σκοπή, skopé - examination) is an acoustic medical device for auscultation, i. ...

Additional signs

Fifth sign

The phrase "fifth vital sign" usually refers to pain, as perceived by the patient on a Pain scale of 1-10. For example, the Veterans Administration made this their policy in 1999. However, some doctors have noted that pain is actually a subjective symptom, not an objective sign, and therefore object to this classification. Look up Pain in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Pain scales are tools that can help health care providers diagnose or measure a patients pains intensity. ... The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for administering programs of veterans benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors. ... The term symptom (from the Greek syn = con/plus and pipto = fall, together meaning co-exist) has two similar meanings in the context of physical and mental health: Strictly, a symptom is a sensation or change in health function experienced by a patient. ... In medicine, a sign is a feature of disease as detected by the doctor during physical examination of a patient. ...

Other sources include pulse oximetry as their fifth sign. A portable saturometer (for emergencies) Measure by optic properties through the nail A pulse oximeter is a medical device that indirectly measures the amount of oxygen in a patients blood. ...

Sixth sign

There is no standard "sixth vital sign", and the use is much more informal and discipline-dependent than with the above, but some proposals (excluding the fifth sign candidates above) include:

Other signs

The term "Vital signs" are also used for physiological signals like electrocardiogram (ECG), electroencephalogram (EEG), electrooculogram (EOG), electromyogram (EMG).

Examples of this use of term are the ISO/ IEEE 11073-10201 standard and the File Exchange Format for Vital Signs

See also

Mechanical sphygmomanometer with aneroid manometer and stethoscope Digital sphygmomanometer A sphygmomanometer or blood pressure meter is an inflatable cuff used to measure blood pressure. ...

External links

  • JBI

  Results from FactBites:
Best Practice - Vital Signs (4060 words)
A systematic review was recently conducted addressing issues such as the purpose of vital signs, the optimal frequency with which they should be conducted, what observations constitute vital signs and to identify issues related to the individual measures of temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure.
The use of the concept "smoking status is a vital sign" has been evaluated during the initial patient encounter and has been shown to increase the likelihood that counseling and smoking cessation advice would be provided by the health care worker.
Vital signs should not be used as a way to ensure frequent visits by the nurse.
Vital Signs (1148 words)
Vital signs are measurements of the body's most basic functions.
Vital signs are useful in detecting or monitoring medical problems.
Vital signs can be measured in a medical setting, at home, at the site of a medical emergency, or elsewhere.
  More results at FactBites »



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