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Count your pulse for 60 seconds or for 15 seconds and then multiply by four to calculate beats per minute. The 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 by counting how many times the chest rises.

Respiration rates may increase with fever, illness, and other medical conditions. When checking respiration, it is important to also note whether a person has any difficulty breathing.

Vital Signs – Community Foundations Canada

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, resulting 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, or systolic pressure, refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart contracts and pumps blood through the body. The lower number, or diastolic pressure, refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart is at rest and is filling with blood.

Both the systolic and diastolic pressures are recorded as "mm Hg" millimeters of mercury. This recording represents how high the mercury column in an old-fashioned manual blood pressure device called a mercury manometer or sphygmomanometer is raised by the pressure of the blood. Today, your doctor's office is more likely to use a simple dial for this measurement.


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High blood pressure , or hypertension, directly increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. With high blood pressure, the arteries may have an increased resistance against the flow of blood, causing the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood. Elevated blood pressure is systolic of to and diastolic less than Stage 1 high blood pressure is systolic is to or diastolic between 80 to Stage 2 high blood pressure is when systolic is or higher or the diastolic is 90 or higher.

These numbers should be used as a guide only. A single blood pressure measurement that is higher than normal is not necessarily an indication of a problem. Your doctor will want to see multiple blood pressure measurements over several days or weeks before making a diagnosis of high blood pressure and starting treatment.

Vital Signs (Body Temperature, Pulse Rate, Respiration Rate, Blood Pressure)

Ask your provider when to contact him or her if your blood pressure readings are not within the normal range. Either an aneroid monitor, which has a dial gauge and is read by looking at a pointer, or a digital monitor, in which the blood pressure reading flashes on a small screen, can be used to measure blood pressure.

The aneroid monitor is less expensive than the digital monitor. The cuff is inflated by hand by squeezing a rubber bulb. Some units even have a special feature to make it easier to put the cuff on with one hand. However, the unit can be easily damaged and become less accurate. Because the person using it must listen for heartbeats with the stethoscope, it may not be appropriate for the hearing-impaired.

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The digital monitor is automatic, with the measurements appearing on a small screen. Because the recordings are easy to read, this is the most popular blood pressure measuring device. It is also easier to use than the aneroid unit, and since there is no need to listen to heartbeats through the stethoscope, this is a good device for hearing-impaired patients.

One disadvantage is that body movement or an irregular heart rate can change the accuracy. These units are also more expensive than the aneroid monitors. In addition, they are more expensive than other monitors. The American Heart Association recommends the following guidelines for home blood pressure monitoring:.

These measurements are taken to help assess the general physical health of a person, give clues to possible diseases and show progress toward recovery. The normal ranges for a person's vital signs vary with age, weight, gender and overall health. 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. 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. Scanga has a great ability to teach. Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

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