Vital Signs Final Fall 2015

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Vital Signs: By:

Vital Signs: By Manuel Gallegos, RN, BSN PERSONAL CARE ASSISTANT Class Spring 2016


Identify the five v ital signs Know how to count respirations Identify main arteries and how to count a pulse Know what blood what is systolic and diastolic blood pressure Know where to take a temperature and what are normal temperatures Understand the importance of a person’s level of consciousness Objectives

What are vital signs?:

Vital signs are measurements of the body's most basic functions Respiration rate (rate of breathing) Pulse rate Blood pressure Body temperature Level of consciousness-Orientation What are vital signs?

What is the pulse?:

When the heart beats, arteries pulse at the same time Some of these arteries like the radial and carotid arteries can be felt easily This can be useful for determining things like rate, regularity, and strength or weakness What is the pulse?



Radial Pulse:

Radial Pulse

Carotid Pulse:

Carotid Pulse

Baby’s Brachial Artery:

Baby’s Brachial Artery

What is the heart rate?:

The number of times your heart beats per minute It is the rhythmic expansion and contraction (or throbbing) of an artery as blood is forced through it by the regular contractions of the heart It is a measure of how hard your heart is working What is the heart rate?

Normal Pulse Rates:

A Resting Heart Rate anywhere in the range of 60 - 100 is considered in the normal Heart Rate will fluctuate a lot depending on such factors as your activity level and stress level If pulse is consistently above 90, you should consult with your physician. This condition is called tachycardia (increased heart rate) Many athletes have pulse rates in the 40 - 60 range, depending on how fit they are Normal Pulse Rates

Blood pressure:

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure results from two forces. First, it is created by the heart as it pumps blood into the arteries and through the circulatory system Second, the other is the force of the arteries as they resist the blood flow Blood pressure

What does blood pressure indicate?:

The higher (systolic) number represents the pressure while the heart contracts to pump blood to the body The lower (diastolic) number represents the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats The systolic pressure is always stated first. For example: 118/76 (118 over 76); systolic = 118, diastolic = 76. What does blood pressure indicate?

What can happen if you have high b/p?:

The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage: Your blood vessels such as arteries of the heart and brain And organs in your body: Especially the brain, heart, and kidneys The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage to the body What can happen if you have high b/p?


Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure can Lead to: 1. Damage to your arteries. This can result in hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications 2. Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening 3. High blood pressure in the arteries leading to your brain can either slow the blood flow to your brain or cause a blood vessel in your brain to burst, causing a stroke


4. Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can prevent these organs from functioning normally 5. Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes can result in vision loss 6. Uncontrolled high blood pressure also may affect your ability to think, remember and learn

Respirations :

Respiration rate is the number of breaths a person takes per minute The rate is usually measured when a person is at rest and simply involves counting the number of breaths for one minute Count how many times the chest rises Respiration rates may increase with fever, illness, and with other medical conditions It is important to note whether a person has any difficulty breathing: Note position and ability to speak or not Respirations


Your respiratory rate is measured in number of breaths per minute For most people it's typically 12 to 20 The rate increases during exercise, excitement, pain, and fever. It declines during relaxation and sleep Your doctor may want regular readings of your respiratory rate if you have a lung disease or other illness, or are taking a medicine that can suppress respiration

Counting Respirations:

You'll need a watch or clock with a second hand or digital Count for a full 60 seconds or you may count for 30 seconds and multiply the number by 2 The person should be seated. Each rise/fall cycle counts as one respiration Note whether the individual's breathing is deep, slow, shallow, or rapid Counting Respirations


Body temperature is the measure of the body's ability to generate or get rid of heat The body is very good at keeping its temperature within a narrow, safe range in spite of large variations in temperatures outside the body When you are too hot, the blood vessels in your skin expand (dilate) to carry the excess heat to your skin's surface You may begin to sweat, and as the sweat evaporates, it helps cool your body Temperature


When you are too cold, your blood vessels narrow (contract) so that blood flow to your skin is reduced to conserve body heat You may start shivering, which is an involuntary, rapid contraction of the muscles This extra muscle activity helps generate more heat Under normal conditions, this keeps your body temperature within a narrow, safe range

What is a normal temperature?:

Most people think of a "normal" body temperature as an oral temperature of 98.6F or 37 degrees C This is an average of normal body temperatures. Your temperature may actually be 1°F (0.6°C) or more above or below 98.6F Your normal body temperature changes by as much as 1°F (0.6°C) throughout the day, depending on how active you are and the time of day What is a normal temperature?

Where is Temperature Measured?:

Your body temperature can be measured in many locations on your body The mouth, ear , armpit, and rectum are the most commonly used places Temperature can also be measured on your forehead Where is Temperature M easured?

Level of Consciousness:

Alertness and being oriented to place and time are major characteristics of consciousness Alertness means that you are able to respond appropriately to the people and things around you When consciousness is decreased, your ability to remain awake, aware, and oriented is impaired. Impaired consciousness is a medical emergency Levels of impaired consciousness include: confusion, disorientation, delirium, lethargy, stupor, and coma Level of Consciousness


Subtle changes in a patient’s personality such as a patient who is uncharacteristically abrupt or aggressive could suggest: Alcohol withdrawal Hypoxia-Low oxygen Hypercapnia-High Carbon dioxide typically caused by inadequate respirations Hypoglycaemia- Low blood sugar Hypotension- Low blood pressure A medication side effect (e.g. benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, opioids


T he five vital signs are ????? H ow do you count respirations What are the main arteries and how do you count a pulse W hat does blood pressure measure and what is systolic and diastolic blood pressure W here do we take a temperature and what are normal temperatures Why is a person’s level of consciousness important? Review

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