“Vitals” is the term used for the measurement of the functioning of vital organs in the body. Vital organs in the body are those organs which basically are responsible for the overall functioning of the body and if any one of the vital organs fails to function, our body refuses to function too. This is basically the end of life.
Our brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys are termed as the vital organs of the body and they are all responsible for a healthy life that we enjoy. If the brain stops functioning, it means we are dead. If the heart refuses to beat, our life refuses to continue. Similarly, kidneys and lungs are the organs which directly or indirectly take part in the life process.
For the same reasons, it is necessary that we know the proper functioning of these vital organs. We especially need this to know when a patient comes to us with any complaints. The first thing that we need to know in any medical condition, emergency or non-emergency, we rush towards our gadgets to know the status of the vital organs.
The proper functioning of vital organs is done by certain measurements and readings that we take during a general physical examination.
Most important vitals that we discuss about are;
- Blood pressure
- Pulse rate
- Respiratory rate
Normal blood pressure of an adult human is usually 120/80 mmHg. There is certainly a range that is considered as normal and as soon as the readings begin to fluctuate out of the normal ranges, quick action needs to be taken to bring down the blood pressure to normal status.
Similarly, average pulse rate in 72 beats per minute but if it goes above 100 beats per minute, our below 50 beats per minute, we now know that it is not normal, and we have to be vigilant about the pulse rate now. Sometimes, the oxygen saturation is also calculated among the vital signs.
Vitals flow sheet
Vitals flow sheets are frequently used in the hospital setups. These sheets are used on a daily basis and sometimes we need to keep a monthly or yearly record of the vitals of the patient if required.
These vital flow sheets are extremely helpful in tracking down the chronic systemic illnesses which basically affect the vital organs of the body. These vital flow sheets are also helpful in correlating the other associated symptoms of the disease and also to see if a particular treatment is effective in the cure of disease or the physician has chosen the wrong direction for management.
The daily, weekly and monthly vitals flow sheets are sometimes used at home by the nurses who take care of chronically ill patients. They keep a record of their patients regularly which is used later by the treating physician.
All these sheets prove to be a really helpful tool in understanding the course of the disease. Hypertension, diabetes and chronic renal failure are some of the important illnesses in which these vital flow sheets are used.