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What are vital signs?

Vital signs are measurable life sign. The terms of "vital sign" usually refers to the patient's temperature, breathing, and blood pressure. These signs may be watched, measured, and monitored to check an individual's level of physical functioning. The four main vitals are temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure.

There are four main vitals signs which are listed below :



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Temperature:

The main reason for checking body temperature is to solicit any signs of infection or inflammation in the presence for a fever, or elevated significantly above the individual's normal temperature.
Body temperature is the balance of the heat produced by the body and the heat lost from the body. Temperature can be taken by mouth using either the classic glass thermometer, or the more modern digital thermometer. Temperature can be taken rectally orally, axillary, by ear, or even by skin. A special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the ear drum, which reflects the body's core temperature.




pulse.jpgPulse:

The pulse rate is measurement of the heart rate, or the number of times the heart beats per minute.
The heart pushes blood through the arteries, the arteries expand and contract with the flow of the blood.
Taking a pulse not only measure the heart rate, but also can indicate the heart rhythm and the strength of the pulse.

The normal pulse for healthy adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. The pulse rate may increase with exercise, illness, injury, and emotion.
Females 12 and older, they tend to have faster heart rates than do males. Athletes, such as runners, who do a lot of cardiovascular conditioning, may have heart rates near 40 beats per minute and experience no problem!



images.jpgRespiration
This is the number of breaths a person takes per minute. This rate simply involves counting the number of breaths for one minute by counting how many times the chest rises.
Respiration rates may increase with fever, illness, and with other medical conditions.
Normal respiration rates for an adult person at rest range from 15 to 20 breaths per minute. Respiration rates over 25 breaths per minute or under 12 breaths per minute (when at rest) may be considered abnormal.



images-1.jpgBlood pressure‚Äč
Blood pressure measured with a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope.
This is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls.
Each time the heart beats, it pumps bloods into the arteries.



Electronic blood pressure monitors measure the heart rate, or pulse.
Two number are recorded when measuring blood pressure.
The higher number is called the systolic, The lower number called diastolic.
Both the systolic and diastolic pressure are recorded as "mm Hg"


Normal blood pressure is less than 120 mm Hg systolic pressure and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic pressure.




ownbloodpressure_sb.jpgBefore you measure your blood pressure
* Rest for three to five minute without talking before taking measurement
* Sit in a comfortable chair, with your back supported and your legs and ankles uncrossed
* Sit still and place your arm, raised level with your heart, on a table or hard surface.
* Wrap the cuff smoothly and snugly around the upper arm of your arm. The cuff should be sized to fit smoothly, while still allowing enough room for one fingertip to slip under it.
* Be sure the bottom edge of the cuff is at least one inch above the crease in your elbow.

*important, Record the date and time of day you are taking the reading, as well as the systolic and diastolic measurement. This will be important important information for your physician to have especially if you are heart patient.




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Cited Sources:
Vital Signs
Temperature
Pulse Rate
Respiration
Blood Pressure