What Vital Signs are Most Important?
Normal vital signs give doctors a baseline to go by when evaluating a patient’s overall health and condition. The basic vital signs shouldn’t vary much beyond certain parameters, and extreme fluctuations are the first signs of something gone wrong in the body.
Vital Signs Definition
The basic vital signs definition is clinical measurements of pulse rate, temperature, respiration rate and blood pressure. These four measurements are the best indications of whether the body is functioning as expected, or if something has gone wrong. By taking these measurements, your doctor can begin to get a feel for whether your heart and other major organs are functioning properly.
What is the Order for Taking Vital Signs?
The normal order of taking vital signs is the pulse, respiration, temperature, and blood pressure. The signs may be measured in a different order, depending upon the symptoms the patient is exhibiting. Remember that vital signs are not a magic formula, but rather a diagnostic tool that the doctor uses to determine the basics of organ function.
How to Take Blood Pressure
You can take your blood pressure with either an aneroid (traditional) meter or a digital meter. Both are accurate and useful, but some people find it easier to read the digital meter. To get the most accurate measurements, sit quietly for at least 5 minutes before you attempt the test. Avoid caffeine and alcohol for at least a half hour before the test. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your arm resting on a firm, level surface. Carefully follow the instructions that come with your blood pressure monitor.
What is Normal Blood Pressure?
Normal blood pressure is a systolic (upper) reading of less than 120, and a diastolic (lower) reading of 80 or less. For the average adult, 120/80 is the baseline against which blood pressure is measured.
Elevated blood pressure means that the systolic is between 120 and 129 and the diastolic remains less than 80. High blood pressure involves having a systolic reading between 130 to 139 or diastolic between 80 and 89. Stage two high blood pressure, which may be an indication of a heart problem, is a systolic reading of 140 or higher, and a diastolic of 90 or higher.
Heart patients should monitor their blood pressure regularly and report the results, especially any sudden changes, to their doctor as soon as possible.