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Chapter #9-Vital Signs and SAMPLE History

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Vital Signs
Outward signs of what is going on inside the body, including respiration; pulse; skin color, temperature, and condition (pulse capillary refill in infants and children); pupils; and blood pressure
Pulse
The rhythmic beats felt as the heart pumps blood through the arteries
Pulse Rate
The number of pulse beats per minute
Tachycardia
A rapid pulse; any pulse rate above 100 beats per minute
Bradycardia
A slow pulse; any pulse rate below 60 beats per minute
Pulse Quality
The rhythm (regular or irregular) and force (strong or weak) of the pulse
Radial Pulse
The pulse felt at the wrist
Brachial Pulse
The pulse felt in the upper arm
Carotid Pulse
The pulse felt along the large carotid artery on either side of the neck
Respiration
The act of breathing in and breathing out
Respiratory Rate
The number of breaths taken in 1 minute
Respiratory quality
The normal or abnormal (shallow, labored, or noisy) character of breathing
Respiratory Rhythm
The regular or irregular spacing of breaths
Pupil
The black center of the eye
Dilate
Get larger
Constrict
Get smaller
Reactivity
In the pupils of the eyes, reacting to light by changing size
Blood Pressure
The force of blood against the walls of the blood vessels
Systolic Blood Pressure
The pressure created when the heart contracts and forces blood out into the arteries
Diastolic Blood Pressure
The pressure remaining in the arteries when the left ventricle of the heart is relaxed and refilling
Sphygmomanometer
The cuff and gauge used to measure blood pressure
Brachial Artery
The major artery of the arm
Auscultation
Listening. A stethoscope is used to auscultate for characteristic sounds.
Palpation
Touching or feeling. A pulse or blood pressure may be palpated with the fingertips.
Blood Pressure Monitor
Machine that automatically inflates a blood pressure cuff and measures blood pressure
Pulse Oximeter
An electronic device for determining the amount of oxygen carried in the blood, known as the oxygen saturation or SpO2
Oxygen Saturation (SpO2)
The ratio of the amount of oxygen present in the blood to the amount that could be carried, expressed as a percentage.
Sign
An indication of a patient's condition that is objective, or can be observed by another person; an indication that can be seen, heard, smelled, or felt by the EMT or others
Symptoms
An indication of a patient's condition that cannot be observed by another person but rather is subjective, or felt and reported by the patient.
SAMPLE History
The present and past medical history of a patient, so called because the elements of the history begin with the letters of the word sample: signs/symptoms, allergies, medications, pertinent past history, last oral intake, events leading to the injury or illness