Vital signs are an important indicator that someone is alive. It is used mostly in the field of medicine and rescue, as doctors and rescuers are trying to find out if the person that they are saving is still alive. There are four major vital signs, but some sources are adding up a fifth and a sixth vital sign. The four major vital signs are body temperature, the heart rate or the pulse, the respiratory rate, and blood pressure. It is important for an individual to monitor their vital signs because once they start to reach extreme levels, health problems might occur and some could be fatal. There are ways on how to identify vital signs using a vital signs monitor. People should exert efforts in identifying these numbers they get because it will be very important in preserving their health.
The first vital sign to be observed would be the body temperature. Normal body temperature is at 37 degrees Centigrade, or about 98.6° Fahrenheit, but it could fluctuate depending on the environment. However, extreme changes in body temperature could lead to death. When the body temperature increases, the patient would start developing a fever. If the temperature continues to rise, the patient will undergo convulsion, and it could lead to so many complications. This condition is known as hyperthermia, and without immediate medical attention, the patient would instantly die from the high body temperature. On the other hand, if the patient undergoes hypothermia, or the lowering of body temperature, they would also suffer. It can be fatal if the person stayed for too long in a cold environment. Hypothermia is common during the winter when the temperature drops.
Heart rate and pulse is another form of vital signs. Doctors who are trying to do surgeries on their patients usually keep an apparatus that displays the heart rate of the patient. This way, the surgical team could monitor if there is something wrong with the body whenever they try to do a surgical procedure. Rescuers are also relying on the heart rate and the pulse whenever they are trying to rescue someone. During disasters, rescuers are monitoring the victim’s heart rate and pulse to see if they can still be saved. Those who have an active pulse and heart rate are immediately sent to hospitals for further treatment. It is also important for people to learn about the heart rate and the pulse as a form of vital signs because it could save lives, especially when there are no doctors or rescuers around.
Respiratory rate is another vital sign. It measures how the person breathes per minute. The normal range is about 16-20 breaths per minute, and anything higher or lower than that average could mean respiratory problems for the person. Along with the heart rate, rescuers are also checking on the respiratory rate to see if someone is still alive. Doctors are also constantly monitoring the respiratory rate of their patients, especially during the recovery stage, to verify that everything is working fine and no complications have taken place. The respiratory rate could change depending on the environment, and individuals should monitor it to ensure their safety.
Blood pressure is also an important vital sign. It measures the strength of the heart in pumping the blood. People who love to eat sodium-rich foods and foods that are high in cholesterol are prone to high blood pressure, which eventually develops into hypertension. It is important to monitor the blood pressure because extreme changes can be dangerous. People should also change their diets because it might cause complications in their blood pressure. A lot of people who have been eating unhealthy foods have developed heart disease, one of the complications of high blood pressure.
Finally, there are the fifth and sixth vital signs, which differ depending on the sources. For women, the menstrual cycle is considered as a fifth vital sign. However, some sources also indicate that pain, pulse oximetry, and the blood glucose level could be the fifth vital sign. The sixth vital signs, on the other hand, include the end-tidal carbon dioxide rate, the functional status, the shortness of breath, and the gait speed. People who want to live healthy lives should always consider these vital signs and do everything that they can to monitor them regularly, making sure that it would not go into levels that are dangerous.