When you are doing the physiological measurements staition on your OSCE remember to firstly, introduce yourself and identify the patient (eg. name & date of birth). Secondly, explain the procedure and establish a valid consent. Thirdly, carry out procedure and follow infection prevention and control policies (eg. hand-washing).
Normal range is between 36.0 and 37.5 degrees C. Temperature can be measured tympanically, orally, axillary or rectally. High temperature can be a sign of infection, arthritis, heat stroke, etc. Some useful terminology: Hypothermia – a reduced body temperature of 35 degrees or less Pyrexia – a raised temperature. The three grades of pyrexia are Low (normal temperature to 38 degrees), Moderate/high (38 to 40 degrees) and hyperpyrexia (40 degrees and over). Rigor – shaking or exaggerated shivering that occurs with a raised temperature.
Normal pulse rate is between 55 ~ 100 beats per minute in people above the age of 10. In children and babies pulse is faster. Various factors can affect pulse rate including: fever, heart problems, infection, pyrexia, hypovolaemia, levels of fitness, anxiety, shock and medications. Useful terminology: Tachycardia – resting pulse of >100 bpm (beats per minute) in adults. Bradycardia – pulse of <60 bpm.
RESPIRATION (depth, pattern & sounds) Normal breathing rate is between 12 ~ 20 breaths per minute. Factors affecting the breathing rate include: anaemia, pneumonia,asthma, COPD, severe bleeding, stress/anxiety, medications etc. Some useful terminology: Bradypneoa – slower than the normal (Tachypnoea – faster than normal (>20 resps per minute) Dyspnoea – breathing is difficult [conscious patient] Orthopnoea – dyspnoea occurring when the patient lies flat Apnoea – temporary cessation of breathing
BLOOD PRESSURE (BP) (systolic & diastolic) source: http://www.fit8.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/blood-pressure-2.jpg
Above is a chart explaining the ranges of BP in adults. Hypertension – BP greater than 140/90mmHg. Causes include obesity, chronic kidney disease, high alcohol intake, smoking, adrenal/thyroid disorders. Hypotension – low BP (systolic below 100 mmHg). Causes include pregnancy, dehydration, underactive thyroid, heart failure, blood loss, anaphylaxis