Vital Signs Medical Science 1
Lesson Objectives • Understand • What vitals are and how to document them • Learn How to: • Take Pulse Rate • Take Respiration Rate • Take Blood Pressure
What are vital signs? • Outward signs of what is going on inside of the body • Pulse • Respirations • Blood Pressure • Skin Color • Temperature • Pupils
Pulse • Heart pumps blood through blood vessels • Blood passes through arteries in waves • Surges of blood through the arteries can be felt as pulses • The number of pulses felt in a minute is equal to the number of heart beats in a minute • Two Components: Rate and Quality • Rate=Beats/min • Quality: How it feels – strong, weak, thready…
Pulse Locations • Radial Pulse • Carotid Pulse • Brachial Pulse
Average Pulse Ranges Age Beats/min 14+ 60-100 11-14 60-105 6-10 70-110 … … Newborn 120-160
Respirations • Respiration = The act of breathing • Measured in breaths per min • 2 actions of respiration are: inspiration and exhalation • Inspiration = breath in • Exhalation = breath out • 1 breath = 1 inspiration & 1 exhalation
Respiration Components • Rate and Quality (just like pulse) • Rate = Breaths/min • Quality = normal, shallow, labored, noisy What do you think, normal?
Average Respiration Ranges Age Breaths/min 14+ 12-20 11-14 12-20 6-10 15-30 … … Newborn 30-50
Blood Pressure Definition: The force of blood against the walls of the blood vessels When the heart contracts and forces blood in the arteries – Systolic Pressure When the heart is relaxed, the remaining pressures in the arteries – Diastolic Pressure
Blood Pressure Presented in the form: Systolic Diastolic Average Blood pressure = 120/80
How to Take Blood Pressure • Position the blood pressure cuff • Arrow over brachial artery • Put stethoscope properly into your ears • Place the head of the stethoscope on the brachial artery, below the BP cuff • Pump the BP cuff to 160 mmHG • Slowly release pressure by turning value counterclockwise • 1st sound heard = systolic pressure • Last sound heard = diastolic pressure
Blood Pressure by Palpation • Very similar to previous procedure, but no stethoscope is used • Instead, place your hand on the radial pulse • Pump BP cuff to 160 mmHG • Slowly release the value • First pulse felt = Systolic pressure • Diastolic pressure cannot be measured this way • Documented: (Systolic)/Palp.
Now it’s your turn! On the BP arm record the following information: • Assess the radial pulse and blood pressure by auscultation; record the values you obtain and compare those scores with “normal” values. • Tip: if you don’t know what normal range/scores are supposed to be, find it
Now it’s your turn! (cont’d) Use your classmates as patients for the following tasks: • Tip: Record your answers on the form provided on my website • Assess the vital signs of 6 people
Think deeper!! Answer the following questions on the BACK of your assessment form! • Why would a healthy 18 year old person need vital signs assessed at a sports physical? • Why would a cardiac pt have the dorsalis pedis pulse site assessed pre and post op?
THE END! Use your own paper to complete the LAST TASK! Write 2 separate case stories. • First story describes a situation (accident, trauma, chronic illness, etc.) in which you would assess homeostasis using a pulse site located on the patient’s upper body
THE END! (cont’d) • Second story describes a situation (accident, trauma, chronic illness, etc.) in which you would assess homeostasis using a pulse site located on the patient’s lower body Include in both stories: • Name of pulse site, description of it’s location and WHY you are assessing at that location. • Provide as many details as possible in your story