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Module 11

Vital Signs

TermDefinition
Diagnosis The determination of the cause of the nature of the disease
Medical diagnosis The determination of the cause and nature of the disease after all tests, procedures, and examinations.
Clinical diagnosis Also called working diagnosis. A preliminary presumptive diagnosis made by the physician based on the health history and physical examination
Differential diagnosis The determination of which of several diseases is the cause of a problem
Prognosis The prediction of the course of the disease and the recovery rate
Subjective symptoms Complaints that are felt by a patient but are not apparent to observers or measurable
Objective symptoms Complaints that are felt by patient and our parent to observers or measurable
anthropometry The science of size, proportion, weight, and height
Vital signs The pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, and rate, rhythm, and depth of respirations
Metabolism The sum of all physical and chemical changes that take place within the human body
pyrexia A body temperature above 100.4°F. Also called fever.
Febrile Having a body temperature above 100.4°F
Afebrile The absence of a fever
Bounding pulse An increased volume of force in the pulse
Thready pulse Barely perceptible volume or force in the pulse
Apical The heart rate counted at the apex of the heart
Pulse deficit The difference between the radial pulse and the apical pulse
apnea lack of breathing
eupnea normal breathing
cyanosis A condition in which the patient does not take in enough oxygen during inhalation, resulting in an increase in carbon dioxide in the blood and a bluish tent to the skin and nail beds
acute pain pain that typically lasts less than 3 to 6 months, or pain that is directly related to soft tissue damage
chronic pain Pain that persists over a long period of time
intractable pain severe, constant pain that is not curable by any known means and which causes a bed or house-bound state and early death if not adequately treated
palpatory method Inflate the cuff rapidly to 70 mmHg, and increase by 10 mm Hg increments while palpating the radial pulse. Note the level of pressure at which the pulse disappears and subsequently reappears during deflation will be systolic blood pressure.
radiating pain a sign that a nerve or nerve roots along the spinal column are under pressure from injury or inflammation.
referred pain pain felt in a part of the body other than its actual source.
hypothermia body temperature below 97 F
hyperthermia body temperature greater than 105.8 F
oral temp taken in the mouth
axillary temp taken in the axilla (under the arm)
aural temp taken in the ear canal
rectal temp taken in the rectum
radial pulse Thumb side of the wrist about 1 inch below the base of the wrist
Brachial pulse Antecubital fossa or inner aspect of the elbow
Carotid pulse At the side of the neck between the larynx and the sternocleidomastoid muscle
Temporal pulse At the side of the head just above the ear
Femoral pulse In the groin where the femoral artery passes to the leg
popliteal pulse Behind the knee
dorsalis pedis Top of the foot
Korotkoff sounds the sounds actually heard as the arterial wall distends during the compression of the blood pressure cuff
Hypertension a condition of consistently elevated blood pressure
hypotension condition of abnormally low blood pressure
orthostatic hypotension A temporary fall in blood pressure that occurs when a patient rapidly moves from a lying to a standing position
Created by: Mrs_Blanchard