How are vital signs interpreted in a vital sign monitor?

Monitors that record patients’ vital signs, such as pulse, temperature, breathing, oxygen saturation and blood pressure, are overwhelming because of all numbers, abbreviations, wavy lines and alarms. In order to understand the mechanism of the monitors, it is necessary to consult a doctor and to indicate the meaning of each record.ย 

It should be noted that the records are achieved by small sensors that are connected to the body, which sends the information to the monitor. Some sensors are patches that stick to the skin, while others can be hooked on one of your fingers. The most basic monitors, they are able to show heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, however with advances in technology, they give records of how much oxygen the blood carries, how fast the patient is breathing and can even show how much pressure is in the brain or how much carbon dioxide is being exhaled.

Interpretation of Vital Signs in the Monitorย ย 

Therefore, the functions of each line that the monitors reflect are explained belowย 

  • Pulse rate per “PR”, this represents the patient’s pulse rate, usually the normal pulse rate for an adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. For example, if the monitor number records PR says 85, the person’s pulse rate is 85.
  • Temperature, represented by the abbreviation “TEMP”, the number reflected on the monitor indicates the body temperature of the person. In this case, if 36.8 (98.2) is reflected in the temperature section, the person’s temperature is 36.8 ยฐC (98.2ยฐF).
  • Blood oxygen level, represented by the acronym “SpO2”, represents the amount of oxygen in the blood. Ideally, this number should be 95% or more, but it may be lower as a result of illness or injury. If the number is below 90 %, its oxygen saturation is considered low and probably requires oxygen.
  • Respiratory frequency, with the acronym “RR”, is the number of breaths a person gives in one minute. However, it can increase due to injury or illness, so the number could be higher than 16. The person’s number could also increase if they move or talk.
  • Systolic blood pressure (SYST) and diastolic blood pressure (DIAS). The abbreviations SYST and DIAS respond to systolic and diastolic respectively. Together, they make up a person’s blood pressure reading. Locate these two numbers to determine a person’s blood pressure. A normal reading is between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg. Therefore, if the systolic number is 110 and the diastolic number is 75, your blood or arterial pressure will be 110/75 mmHg.

Reading the Monitor Lines in Patients

Line and wave readings that reflect each patient’s vital signs monitors, is the health status warning found at that time, it is usually OK for one or more numbers on the monitor to be out of the normal range. This may indicate a problem in some cases, but is generally not a cause for concern. If you notice that one of the values or waves on the monitor looks bad, it is advisable to consult the doctor or nurse of the patient. According to the above, the readings are performed as follows:

  • Cardiac functions when observing the electrocardiogram (ECG) lines, are interpreted to know any problem with the person’s heart rate, such as an arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, reflected in lines within the ECG section, are usually green and have sharp peaks instead of waves as the other two lines on the monitor have correlation with the heartbeat. The waves and peaks correspond to a specific event in the heart beat cycle.ย 
  • SpO2 waves and ECG waves are usually represented by a blue line. These wavy lines help doctors spot problems with circulation, as if oxygenated blood doesn’t reach a person’s limbs. Each wave on this line must correspond to a peak on the ECG line, so that waves and peaks occur at the same intervals.ย 
  • RESP wave to see how well a person breathes, each wave in this line indicates a breath the person has given. Medical professionals can use this section of the monitor to observe breathing problems, such as when someone suddenly stops breathing (apnoea) or has difficulty breathing (dyspnoea). This line is usually yellow or white.

Vital Signs Monitor in Kalstein

We are manufacturers of the best medical equipment that the market can offer you, we have the best advice so that you have no doubts about your purchase, at the best prices that only Kalstein can offer you. We have for you, the most advanced semi-modular monitors of medium and high complexity, specially designed to be used in ICU, Pavilion and Emergency in Adult, Pediatric or Neonatal patients. The Q5 features a large 12.1-inch TFT color LCD with anti-glare system and Touch Screen function, plus a battery backup of up to 3.5 hrs. It can also be connected to a monitoring station and incorporates protocol to connect to HIS, CIS, LIS and PACS systems, and with port for 2G SD memory card. Basic parameters included: ECG, ST, Arrhythmia, Respiration, 2 Temperature, SpO2, Noninvasive Pressure, PPI. Additional parameters and options: SpO2 Masimo (Rainbow), SpO2 Nellcor, 2 to 8 Invasive Pressures, Analysis of Anesthetic Agents, CO2 (MainStream, SideStream, MicroStream), FiO2, Invasive and Non-Invasive Cardiac Expenditure, Printer Module.

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