Measuring Vital Signs: Key Terms

Apical-radial pulse – taking the apical and radial pulses at the same time.

blood pressure – the amount of force exerted against the walls of an artery by the blood.

body temperature – the amount of heat in the body that is balance between the amount of heat produced and teh amount lost by the body.

bradycardia – a slow (brady) heart rate (cardia); the rate is less than 60 beats per minute.

diastole – the period of heart muscle relaxation

diastolic pressure – the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest.

hypertension – persistent blood pressure measurements above the systolic (140mmHg) or diastolic (90 mmHg) pressure.

hypotension – a condition in which the systolic blood pressure is below 90 mmHg and the diastolic pressure is below 60 mmHg.

pulse – the beat of the heart felt at an artery as a wave of blood passes through the artery.

pulse deficit – the difference between the apical and radial pulse rates.

pulse rate – the number of hearbeats or pulses felt in 1 minute.

respiration – the act of breathing air into (inhalation) and out of (exhalation) the lungs.

Sphygmomanometer -the instrument used to measure blood pressure.

stethoscope – an instrument used to listen to the sounds produced by the heart, lungs, and other body organs.

systole – the period of heart muscle contraction.

systolic pressure – the amount of force it takes to pump blood out of the heart into the arterial circulation.

tachycardia – a rapid (tachy) heart rate (cardia); the heart rate is over 100 bets per minute.

vital signs – temperature, pulse, respirations, and blood pressure.


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