Vital Signs

Vital Signs
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They can be measured in a medical setting, at home, at the site of a medical emergency, or elsewhere.

The normal body temperature of a person varies depending on gender, recent activity, food and fluid consumption, time of day, and, in women, the stage of the menstrual cycle. Normal body temperature can range from A person's body temperature can be taken in any of the following ways:.

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Temperature can be taken by mouth using either the classic glass thermometer, or digital thermometers that use an electronic probe to measure body temperature. This is more common in babies because their body doesn't regulate temperature the way an older child or adult's body does. Armpit axillary. Temperatures taken by this route tend to be 0.

By ear.

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A special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the eardrum, which reflects the body's core temperature the temperature of the internal organs. By skin. A special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the skin on the forehead. This method is common in people who are critically ill in an intensive care unit. The temperature can be measured by probes that are placed in the esophagus, heart, or bladder. Body temperature may be abnormal due to fever high temperature or hypothermia low temperature.

A fever is indicated when body temperature rises about 1 degree or more over the normal temperature of According to the Environmental Protection Agency EPA , mercury is toxic and poses a threat to the health of humans, as well as to the environment. Because of the risk of breaking, glass thermometers with mercury should be not be used. If you have a mercury thermometer, dispose of it properly in accordance with local, state, and federal laws. Contact your local health department, waste disposal authority, or fire department for information on how to properly dispose of mercury thermometers.

The pulse rate is a measurement of the heart rate. This is the number of times the heart beats per minute. As the heart pushes blood through the arteries, the arteries expand and contract with the flow of the blood. Taking a pulse not only measures the heart rate, but also can indicate the following:. The normal pulse for healthy adults ranges from 60 to beats per minute. The pulse rate may fluctuate and increase with exercise, illness, injury, and emotions. Females ages 12 and older, in general, 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 with no problems. As the heart forces blood through the arteries, you feel the beats by firmly pressing on the arteries, which are located close to the surface of the skin at certain points of the body. The pulse can be found on the side of the neck, on the inside of the elbow, at the wrist, or in the groin.

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For most people, it's easiest to take the pulse at the wrist. If you use the lower neck, be sure not to press too hard. Never press on the pulses on both sides of the lower neck at the same time. This can block blood flow to the brain. Using the first and second fingertips, press firmly but gently on the arteries until you feel a pulse. Count your pulse for 60 seconds or for 15 seconds and then multiply by 4 to calculate beats per minute.

When counting, don't watch the clock continuously, but concentrate on the beats of the pulse. Many types of monitoring devices can help check your pulse. These include fitness tracker devices to help track your pulse rate. The respiration rate is the number of breaths you take each minute.

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The rate is usually measured when you are at rest. It simply involves counting the number of breaths for one minute by counting how many times your chest rises. Respiration rates may increase with exercise, fever, illness, and with other medical conditions. When checking respiration, it's important to also note whether you have any trouble breathing. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls during contraction and relaxation of the heart.

Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. It results in the highest blood pressure as the heart contracts. When the heart relaxes, the blood pressure falls. Two numbers are recorded when measuring blood pressure. The higher number is called systolic pressure. It refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart contracts and pumps blood through the body.

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The lower number is called diastolic pressure. It refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart is at rest and is filling with blood. Both pressures are recorded as "mm Hg" millimeters of mercury. There are four main vital signs: body temperature, blood pressure, pulse heart rate , and breathing rate. Body temperature: The average body temperature is Body temperature is measured using a thermometer inserted into the mouth, anus, or placed under the armpit. Body temperature can also be measured by a special thermometer inserted into the ear canal.

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Any temperature that is higher than a person's average body temperature is considered a fever. Keep in mind that temperature can vary due to factors other than illness or infection.

Stress, dehydration, exercise, being in a hot or cold environment, drinking a hot or cold beverage and thyroid disorders can influence body temperature. Because older adults do not control body temperature as well as younger adults, older adults may be ill without ever displaying signs of a fever. Blood pressure: Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure or force of blood against the walls of your arteries. The first number is called the systolic pressure and measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and pushes blood out to the body.

The second number is called the diastolic pressure and measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. A systolic pressure of or a diastolic pressure of is considered "prehypertension" and should be closely monitored.

Blood pressure that remains high for an extended period of time can result in such health problems as atherosclerosis hardening of the arteries , heart failure and stroke. If you are taking your blood pressure, beware of these factors when reading your measurements. If someone else is taking your blood pressure, be sure to tell him or her of any these possible causes you may have for high blood pressure.

Also know that the blood pressure stations at some drug stores and grocery stores are not considered accurate measures of your blood pressure. However, if your low blood pressure causes signs or symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, nausea, cold sweats and blurred vision, talk to your doctor to discover if another condition or illness is behind the problem.

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Vital Signs Vital Signs 'takes the pulse' of our region. Your pulse can be measured by firmly but gently pressing the first and second fingertips against certain points on the body — most commonly at the wrist or neck but can also be measured at the bend of the arms, in the groin, behind the knees, inside the ankles, on the top of the feet or at the temple area of the face — then counting the number of heart beats over a period of 60 seconds. Tympanic membrane ear temperature: Usually 0. By skin. A special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the eardrum, which reflects the body's core temperature the temperature of the internal organs. This is the SBP and should be the same as the value determined with the use of your stethescope. Respiration rates may increase with exercise, fever, illness, and with other medical conditions.

Pulse: Your pulse is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Pulse rates vary from person to person. Your pulse is lower when you are at rest and increases when you exercise because more oxygen-rich blood is needed by the body when you exercise. A normal pulse rate for a healthy adult at rest ranges from 60 to 80 beats per minute.