Vital Signs


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TEMPERATURE Normal human body temperature:Normothermia or Euthermia,. It is the degree of heat in the body of a living organism, usually about 37.0°C (98.6°F) in humans. Although the value 37.0 °C (98.6 °F) is the commonly accepted average core body temperature, the value of 36.8 °C ±0.7 °C, or 98.2 °F ±1.3 °F is an average oral (mouth under the tongue) measurement Rectal measurements, or measurements taken directly inside the body cavity, are typically slightly higher

Temperature Regulation of the Human Body : 

Temperature Regulation of the Human Body The human body has a remarkable capacity for regulating its core temperature by the following external heat transfer mechanisms : Radiation Conduction Convection Perspiration

Temperature regulation : 

Temperature regulation The temperature of the body is regulated by neural feedback mechanisms which operate primarily through the hypothalmus. The hypothalmus contains not only the control mechanisms, but also the key temperature sensors.

CONTD…. : 

CONTD…. Under control of these mechanisms, sweating begins almost precisely at a skin temperature of 37°C and increases rapidly as the skin temperature rises above this value If the skin temperature drops below 37°C a variety of responses are initiated to conserve the heat in the body and to increase heat production. These include: Vasoconstriction to decrease the flow of heat to the skin. Cessation of sweating. Shivering to increase heat production in the muscles. Secretion of norepinephrine, epinephrine, and thyroxine to increase heat production .

Specific temperature concepts : 

Specific temperature concepts fever A Temperature setpoint is the level at which the body attempts to maintain its temperature. When the setpoint is raised, the result is a fever. Most fevers are caused by infectious disease.


HYPERTHERMIA Hyperthermia is an acute condition which occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. It is usually caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Hyperthermia at or above about 40 °C (104 °F) is a life-threatening medical emergency and requires immediate treatment. Common symptoms include headache, confusion, and fatigue. If sweating has resulted in dehydration, then the affected person may have dry, red skin.


HYPOTHERMIA Hypothermia is a condition in which an organism's temperature drops below that required for normal metabolism and bodily functions. In warm-blooded animals, core body temperature is maintained near a constant level through biologic homeostasis. However, when the body is exposed to cold, its internal mechanisms may be unable to replenish the heat that is being lost to the organism's surroundings.


TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT Oral Temperature can be taken by mouth using classic glass mercury-filled or digital thermometers.

CONTD…. : 

CONTD…. AXILLARY temperature can be taken under the arm Temperatures taken by this route tend to be 0.3 to 0.4° (Fahrenheit) lower than those temperatures taken by mouth.

CONTD…. : 

CONTD…. By ear a special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the ear drum, which reflects the body's core temperature.

CONTD…. : 

CONTD…. Rectal Temperature is measured (using a mercury or digital thermometer) and it tends to be 0.5 to 0.7° (Fahrenheit) higher than temperature measured by oral route.


PULSE PULSE is also used to denote the frequency of the heart beat, usually measured in beats per minute The normal pulse for healthy adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute ( BPM). The pulse rate may fluctuate and increase with exercise illness, injury, and emotions. Bradycardia occurs when the pulse rate is below 60 BPM. Tachycardia occurs when the rate is above 100 BPM. During sleep the pulse can drop to as low as 40 BPM. During strenuous exercise, it can rise as high as 150–200 BPM.

How to measure pulse??? : 

How to measure pulse??? Pulse can be measured on the side of the lower neck, on the inside of the elbow, or at the wrist. Count for 30 seconds and multiply by 2 (or 15 seconds x4) If the rate is particularly slow or fast, it is probably best to measure for a full 60 seconds in order to minimize the error.


BLOOD PRESSURE Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure (force per unit area) exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. The pressure of the circulating blood decreases as it moves away from the heart through arteries and capillaries,and toward the heart through veins. When unqualified, the term blood pressure usually refers to brachial arterial pressure: that is, in the major blood vessel of the upper left or right arm that takes blood away from the heart. Blood pressure may, however, sometimes be measured at other sites in the body, for instance at the ankle. The ratio of the blood pressure measured in the main artery at the ankle to the brachial blood pressure gives the Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI).

Slide 16: 

The standard unit for blood pressure measurement is mmHg (millimeter of mercury). For example, normal pressure can be stated as 120 / 80 mm Hg, where 120 is the systolic reading and 80 is the diastolic. For each heartbeat, blood pressure varies between systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure is peak pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the end of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are contracting. Diastolic pressure is minimum pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the beginning of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are filled with blood. Pulse pressure is the difference between systolic and diastolic pressures.

Hypotension : 

Hypotension Hypotension refers to an abnormally low blood pressure. It is a physiologic state rather than a disease. Often associated with shock and can be life threatening.

Hypertension : 

Hypertension Hypertension is a condition where the blood pressure is chronically elevated.




BP INSTRUMENT Sphygmomanometer or blood Pressure meter is a device used to measure blood pressure, comprising an inflatable cuff to restrict blood flow, and a mercury or mechanical manometer to measure the pressure. It is always used in conjunction with a means to determine at what pressure blood flow is just starting, and at what pressure it is unimpeded. Manual sphygmomanometers are used in conjunction with a stethoscope.

In order to measure the BP : 

In order to measure the BP Feel for a pulse from the artery coursing through the inside of the elbow (antecubital fossa).

CONTD…. : 

CONTD…. Wrap the cuff around the patient's upper arm Close the thumb-screw.


CONTD… With your left hand place the stethoscope head directly over the artery you found. Press in firmly but not so hard that you block the artery.

Technique of BP measurement : 

Technique of BP measurement Use your right hand to pump the squeeze bulb several times and Inflate the cuff until you can no longer feel the pulse to level above suspected SBP

Technique of BP measurement : 

Technique of BP measurement If you immediately hear sound, pump up an additional 20 mmHg and repeat

Technique of BP measurement : 

Technique of BP measurement Deflate cuff slowly at a rate of 2-3 mmHg per second until you can again detect a radial pulse.


RESPIRATION RATE Respiration rate is the number of breaths a person takes per minute. Also called breathing frequency. It is typically from 40-50 breaths/ minute for newborns. 20 - 25 breaths /minute for older children. 12 - 20 breaths / minute for teenagers and adults.

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An adult rate of 25 breaths/minute is regarded as accelerated. A rate of less than 12 breaths/minute is abnormally low. Slower breathing rates may result from head injury, coma, or narcotic overdose.

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The rate may be more rapid in - Fever. Acute pulmonary infection. Left ventricular failure States of tension.

Measurement : 

Measurement The human respiration rate is usually measured when a person is at rest and simply involves counting the number of breaths for one minute by counting how many times the chest rises.

Minute volume : 

Minute volume Respiratory minute volume is the volume of air which can be inhaled (inhaled minute volume) or exhaled (exhaled minute volume) from a person's lungs in one minute Diagnostic value The respiratory rate acts as an indicator of potential respiratory dysfunction. But it is of limited value.

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