Vital Sign Assessment

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan.


Vital signs are an objective measurement of the essential physiological functions of a living organism. They have the name "vital" as their measurement and assessment is the critical first step for any clinical evaluation. The first set of clinical examinations is an evaluation of the vital signs of the patient. Triage of patients in an urgent/prompt care or an emergency department is based on their vital signs as it tells the physician the degree of derangement that is happening from the baseline. Healthcare providers must understand the various physiologic and pathologic processes affecting these sets of measurements and their proper interpretation. If we use a triage method where we select patients without determining their vital signs, it may not give us a reflection of the urgency of the patient's presentation. The degree of vital sign abnormalities may also predict the long-term patient health outcomes, return emergency department visits, and frequency of readmission to hospitals, and utilization of healthcare resources.

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