Vital Signs 2 - Measuring and Recording Vital Signs Pulse...

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Measuring and Recording Vital Signs
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Pulse • Defined as the pressure of the blood pushing against the wall of an artery as the heart beats and rests – Feel throbbing of the arteries caused by contractions of the heart – More easily felt in arteries that lie close to the skin and can be pressed against a bone
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Major Arterial or Pulse Sites of the Body • Temporal: side of the forehead • Carotid: side of the neck (used for CPR) • Brachial: inner aspect of forearm at the antecubital space (used for BP) • Radial: inner aspect of wrist above thumb (most common place to measure pulse) • Femoral: inner aspect of upper thigh • Popliteal: behind knee • Dorsalis pedis: top of foot arch
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Pulse Rate • The number of beats per minute • Varies with each individual depending on age, sex and body size – Adults: 60 – 90 bpm – Adult men: 60 – 70 bpm – Adult women: 65 – 80 bpm – Children over 7: 70 – 90 bpm – Children 1 to 7: 80 – 110 bpm – Infants (less than 1): 100 – 160 bpm
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Pulse Rate • Bradycardia: pulse rates under 60 bpm • Tachycardia: pulse rates over 100 bpm (except in children) • Any variations or extremes in pulse rates should be reported immediately
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Pulse Rhythm • Should be noted along with rate • Refers to the regularity of the pulse or the spacing of the beats • Described as regular or irregular • Arrhythmia – Irregular or abnormal rhythm – Usually caused by a defect in the electrical conduction pattern of the heart
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Pulse Volume • Should be noted along with rate and rhythm • Describes the strength or intensity of the pulse • Described by words such as strong, weak, thready or bounding
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Factors that Change Pulse Rate • Increased rates can be caused by exercise, stimulant drugs, excitement, fever, shock or anxiety • Decreased rates can be caused by sleep, depressant drugs, heart disease or coma
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Basic Principles for Taking Radial Pulse • Position pt’s arm supported comfortably with palm of hand turned down • Use tips of 2 or 3 fingers to locate pulse site on thumb side of wrist • Count pulse for 1 full minute • Note rate, rhythm and volume of pulse • Record info as: – 9/15/06, 0830, P 82 strong and regular, Teresa Briggs, RN
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Respiration • Measures the breathing of the patient • Process of taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide from the lungs and respiratory tract • 1 respiration consists of 1 inspiration (breathing in) and 1 expiration (breathing out)
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Normal Respiratory Rate • Adults: 12 – 20 rpm • Children: 16 – 25 rpm • Infants: 30 – 50 rpm
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2012 for the course CNA 1 taught by Professor Teresabriggs during the Spring '12 term at NorthWest Arkansas Community College.

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Vital Signs 2 - Measuring and Recording Vital Signs Pulse...

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