vital signs

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vi·tal signs (VS),

determination of temperature, pulse rate, rate of breathing, and level of blood pressure.
Synonym(s): vitals (2)

vital signs

Body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure as measured to assess health or dysfunction.

vital signs1

the measurements of pulse rate, respiration rate, and body temperature. Although not strictly a vital sign, blood pressure is also customarily included. Abnormalities of vital signs are often clues to diseases, and alterations in vital signs are used to evaluate a patient's progress. See also blood pressure, pulse, respiration, temperature.

vital signs2

a nursing outcome from the Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC) defined as the extent to which temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure are within normal range. See also Nursing Outcomes Classification.

Vital Signs

A phrase referring to a UK Department of Health approach to planning and managing some of the UK’s most critical health issues, by creating a framework which allows increased autonomy to better meet national and local priorities.

Vital Signs
• National requirements—those things that a local NHS “must do”—e.g., meet targets such as waiting times for cancer treatment and number of MRSA infections per unit of population;
• National priorities delivered locally—those things a local NHS “needs to do”—e.g., implement initiatives to address childhood obesity rates and avoidable deaths from heart disease and stroke—to be agreed and approved by the local Strategic Health Authority;
• Local actions—those things a local NHS “chooses to do”—e.g., local targets for mental health services, diabetes, and so on; the DH does not involve itself in the performance of local activities.

vital signs

Vitals Clinical medicine Any objective parameter used to assess basic life functions–eg, bp, pulse, respiratory rate, and temperature

vi·tal signs

(vī'tăl sīnz)
Objective measurements of temperature, pulse, respirations, and blood pressure as a means of assessing general health and cardiorespiratory function.

vital signs

Indications that a person is still alive. Vital signs include breathing, sounds of the heart beat, a pulse that can be felt, a reduction in the size of the pupils in response to bright light, movement in response to a painful stimulus and signs of electrical activity in the brain on the electroencephalogram.

Vital signs

Basic indicators of body function, usually meaning heartbeats per minute, breaths per minute, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight.
Mentioned in: Life Support, Liver Biopsy

vi·tal signs

(VS) (vīt-ăl sīnz)
Clinical determination of temperature, pulse rate, rate of breathing, and level of blood pressure.


pertaining to life; necessary to life.

vital capacity
the greatest volume of gas that, following maximum inspiration, can be expelled during a complete, slow, unforced expiratory maneuver; equal to inspiratory capacity plus expiratory reserve volume. This is a commonly made and practicable measurement in humans but is not so in animals.
vital red
dye injected into the circulation to estimate blood volume by calculating the concentration of the dye in the plasma.
vital signs
the signs of life, namely pulse, respiration and temperature.
vital statistics
that branch of biometry dealing with the data and laws of animal mortality, morbidity, natality and demography.
vital statistic rate
vital statistics presented as a proportion of a population, e.g. fetal deaths as a percentage of total births. Includes case fatality rate, nonreturn rate at 60 days.