Saturday, July 21, 2018


You must have been wondering what 'vital signs', mean...
Today I'll be defining and exemplifying Medical Terms as related to Vital Signs...
Let me tell you that as much as there are a lot of Latin and other foreign words used in Medical Terms, a whole lot more of them are just English words that have been streamlined to serve the Medical field alone.

So what is 'Vital Signs'
This term is from two words,  'Vital' and 'Signs'
Vital signifies something very important or relevant,  and we've talked about Signs here terms simplified I.
So VITAL SIGNS are the basic functional statistics of your body's functioning which is usually measured by a Healthcare practitioner using an identified instrument/equipment.

2. BODY TEMPERATURE: this is the degree of hotness or coldness of the body which is compared with a standard scale.
This is usually measured with an instrument called the THERMOMETER.
The normal body temperature ranges from 36.2 degree celsius to 37.2 degree celsius.

You probably have heard the word Pyrexia before, it simply means  fever (a raised body temperature above the normal range).
This is not a disease condition but it is a sign that something bad is happening in the body that needs to be dealt with.

How to handle Pyrexia at home would be discussed in subsequent posts...

This simply reflects the pumping action of the heart.
The pulse tells us how much your heart is beating in a minute.
Usually this is done by placing the fingers on the wrist to press down a artery (blood vessels) and then feel the beating of the heart then count the number of times that happens in a minute or we could as well just listen to the heart beat directly with the aid of a STETHOSCOPE.
The value for Pulse varies with age,  it is more faster/higher in children and the value decreases as the age increases.

A baby's pulse can be as much as 140
A young child's pulse about 118
It gradually reduces, a young adults pulse is around 80-92
In old age,  the pulse could be as low as 70

It's unit is beat per minutes.

A very low/high pulse rate indicates that the heart is not beating/pumping well or is pumping too fast. Either way, it poses concerns to the health.

This is the act of breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbondioxide.

If you did biology in secondary school I'm sure this must ring a bell.

Well in essence respiration helps us GET OXYGEN IN (this is a gas that is important for the body to utilize the food that we are eating to produce energy as well as grow in size) and TAKE CARBONDIOXIDE OUT (a gas that is produced as a by-product of various activities within the body and needs to be passed put as too much of it in the body makes it toxic to the body).

Respiration is measured by watching the chest rise and fall as this is significant of taking in of air (oxygen) and expelling it (carbondioxide).

The values also varies with ages with children having the highest values and it reduces won't age.
A newborn could have about 40-60 cycles per minute, it gradually reduce to about 18-22 in the adult.


I'm sure this looks strange, yea! It's not an English word but trust me to break it down so you can define it yourself.
'tachy' means 'fast',  'pnea' means respiration. Voila! You can go ahead to describe it..... Yea, tachypnea is a respiration that is faster than normal.

I could go on and on, but for the sake of length of this post I will stop here but I'll definitely continue in the next post.
I hope I have added value to you and I hope this serves as a good reminder for those who knew before.

I appreciate your comments a lot.

Feel free to make suggestions of topics you would like me to discuss and questions you would like me to answer and I'll definitely take them in.

Remember that the knowledge about your health is not a junk, it is very important.

Don't forget that you're in charge of your health.

Remember to stay healthy.

Olawunmi (RN).

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