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Vital Signs: The signs of life that may be monitored or measured, namely pulse rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.
 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations I

Measuring Vital Signs

JoVE Science Education

Source: Meghan Fashjian, ACNP-BC, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston MA

The vital signs are objective measurements of a patient's clinical status. There are five commonly accepted vital signs: blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation. In many practices, pain is considered the sixth vital sign and should regularly be documented in the same location as the other vital signs. However, the pain scale is a subjective measurement and, therefore, has a different value according to each individual patient. The vital signs assessment includes estimation of heart rate, blood pressure (demonstrated in a separate video), respiratory rate, temperature, oxygen saturation, and the presence and severity of pain. The accepted ranges for vital signs are: heart rate (HR), 50-80 beats per minute (bpm); respiratory rate (RR), 14-20 bpm; oxygen saturation (SaO2), > 92%; and average oral temperature, ~98.6 °F (37 °C) (average rectal and tympanic temperatures are ~1° higher, and axillary temperature is ~1° lower compared to the average oral temperature). Vital signs serve as the first clue that something may be amiss with a patient, especially if the patient is unable to communicate. Although there are

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations I

Blood Pressure Measurement

JoVE Science Education

Source: Meghan Fashjian, ACNP-BC, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston MA

The term blood pressure (BP) describes lateral pressures produced by blood upon the vessel walls. BP is a vital sign obtained routinely in hospital and outpatient settings, and is one of the most common medical assessments performed around the world. It can be determined directly with the intra-arterial catheter or by indirect method, which is a non-invasive, safe, easily reproducible, and thus most used technique. One of the most important applications of BP measurements is the screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of hypertension, a condition that affects almost one third of the U.S. adult population and is one of the leading causes of the cardiovascular disease. BP can be measured automatically by oscillometry or manually by auscultation utilizing a sphygmomanometer, a device with an inflatable cuff to collapse the artery and a manometer to measure the pressure. Determination of the pulse-obliterating pressure by palpation is done prior to auscultation to give a rough estimate of the target systolic pressure. Next, the examiner places a stethoscope over the brachial artery of the patient, inflates the cuff above the expected systolic pressure, and then auscultates while deflating the cuff and o

 JoVE In-Press

Quantification of Strain in a Porcine Model of Skin Expansion Using Multi-View Stereo and Isogeometric Kinematics

1Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 2Division of Plastic Surgery, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 3Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University

Video Coming Soon

JoVE 55052

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations II

Abdominal Exam IV: Acute Abdominal Pain Assessment

JoVE Science Education

Source: Joseph Donroe, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Abdominal pain is a frequent presenting concern in both the emergency department and the office setting. Acute abdominal pain is defined as pain lasting less than seven days, while an acute abdomen refers to the abrupt onset of severe abdominal pain with features suggesting a surgically intervenable process. The differential diagnosis of acute abdominal pain is broad; thus, clinicians must have a systematic method of examination guided by a careful history, remembering that pathology outside of the abdomen can also cause abdominal pain, including pulmonary, cardiac, rectal, and genital disorders. Terminology for describing the location of abdominal tenderness includes the right and left upper and lower quadrants, and the epigastric, umbilical, and hypogastric regions (Figures 1, 2). Thorough examination requires an organized approach involving inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation, with each maneuver performed purposefully and with a clear mental representation of the anatomy. Rather than palpating randomly across the abdomen, begin palpating remotely from the site of tenderness, moving systematically toward the tender region, and thi

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations I

Proper Adjustment of Patient Attire during the Physical Exam

JoVE Science Education

Source: Jaideep S. Talwalkar, MD, and Joseph Donroe, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

In order to optimize the predictive value of the physical examination, the provider must perform maneuvers correctly. The proper use of drapes is an important component of correctly performing physical examination maneuvers. Skin lesions are missed when "inspection" occurs through clothing, crackles are erroneously reported when the lungs are examined through a t-shirt, and subtle findings on the heart exam go undetected when auscultation is performed over clothing. Accordingly, the best practice standards call for examining with one's hands or equipment in direct contact with the patient's skin (i.e., do not examine through a gown, drape, or clothing). In addition to its clinical value, the correct draping technique is important for improving the patient's comfort level during the encounter. Like all other aspects of the physical exam, it takes deliberate thought and practice to find the right balance between draping, which is done to preserve patient modesty, and exposure, which is necessary to optimize access to the parts that need examination. Individual provider styles in the use of gowns and drapes vary consider

 JoVE Cancer Research

Intra-iliac Artery Injection for Efficient and Selective Modeling of Microscopic Bone Metastasis

1Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine, 2Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, 3Graduate Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, 4Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, 5McNair Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, 6Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine


JoVE 53982

 Science Education: Essentials of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care

Tube Thoracostomy

JoVE Science Education

Source: Rachel Liu, BAO, MBBCh, Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Tube thoracostomy (chest tube placement) is a procedure during which a hollow tube is inserted into the thoracic cavity for drainage of fluid or air. Emergency chest tube insertion is performed for definitive treatment of tension pneumothorax, traumatic hemothorax, large-volume pleural effusions, and empyemas. Irrespective of the cause of air and fluid accumulation in the pleural space, the drainage relieves lung compression and enables lung re-expansion. In pneumothorax, air accumulation in the pleural cavity separates pleural layers, which prevents lung expansion during the respiration. Abnormal fluid accumulation, such as in case of hemothorax or empyema, causes separation of the visceral pleura that adheres to lung tissue from the parietal pleura that forms the lining of the chest cavity. The uncoupling of the pleural layers leads to disconnection of chest wall movement from the lung movement, causing respiratory distress. In addition, excessive pressure from overwhelming amounts of air or fluid in the pleura may push the mediastinum away from the central chest, causing inability of blood to return to the heart. In the trauma setting, a chest tube may

 JoVE Medicine

Ischemic Tissue Injury in the Dorsal Skinfold Chamber of the Mouse: A Skin Flap Model to Investigate Acute Persistent Ischemia

1Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, 2Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, Aesthetic and Hand Surgery, University Hospital of Basel, 3Institute for Clinical and Experimental Surgery, University of Saarland, 4Division of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University Hospital Zurich


JoVE 51900

 JoVE Immunology and Infection

Safety Precautions and Operating Procedures in an (A)BSL-4 Laboratory: 4. Medical Imaging Procedures

1Integrated Research Facility at Frederick, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH)


JoVE 53601

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations I

Respiratory Exam I: Inspection and Palpation

JoVE Science Education

Source: Suneel Dhand, MD, Attending Physician, Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Disorders of the respiratory system with a chief complaint of shortness of breath are among the most common reasons for both outpatient and inpatient evaluation. The most obvious visible clue to a respiratory problem will be whether the patient is displaying any signs of respiratory distress, such as fast respiratory rate and/or cyanosis. In a clinical situation, this will always require emergent attention and oxygen therapy. Unlike pathology in other body systems, many pulmonary disorders, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and pneumonia, can be diagnosed by careful clinical examination alone. This starts with a comprehensive inspection and palpation. Keep in mind that in non-emergency situations the patient's complete history will have been taken already, gaining important insight into exposure histories (e.g., smoking), which could give rise to specific lung diseases. This history can then confirm physical findings as the examination is performed.

 JoVE Medicine

Development of an Algorithm to Perform a Comprehensive Study of Autonomic Dysreflexia in Animals with High Spinal Cord Injury Using a Telemetry Device

1International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, 2Department of Medicine, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of British Columbia, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre


JoVE 52809

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations I

General Approach to the Physical Exam

JoVE Science Education

Source: Jaideep S. Talwalkar, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

The examination of the body is fundamental to the practice of medicine. Since the Roman Empire, physicians have described the connection between alterations in function of specific parts of the body and specific disease states and have sought to further scientific understanding to improve bedside diagnosis. However, in this modern age of increasing technology within medical diagnostics, it is important to consider the role that physical examination plays today. It is misguided to believe that physical examination holds all the answers, and much has been written about the questionable utility of certain maneuvers previously held in high regard. It is equally misguided to suggest that physical examination plays little role in the modern patient encounter. Physical examination remains a valuable diagnostic tool; there are many diagnoses that can only be made by physical examination. A diagnosis made by labs or imaging is rarely done in the absence of findings detectable at the bedside. As the provider conducts a history and physical, they are actively generating and testing hypotheses to explain the patient's condition. The information one gathers may not replace the need

 JoVE Immunology and Infection

Long Term Intravital Multiphoton Microscopy Imaging of Immune Cells in Healthy and Diseased Liver Using CXCR6.Gfp Reporter Mice

1Department of Medicine III, RWTH University-Hospital Aachen, 2IZKF Aachen Core Facility "Two-Photon Imaging", RWTH University-Hospital Aachen, 3Institute for Laboratory Animal Science & Experimental Surgery, RWTH Aachen University, 4Institute for Pharmacology, RWTH University-Hospital Aachen


JoVE 52607

 JoVE Medicine

Assessing Changes in Volatile General Anesthetic Sensitivity of Mice after Local or Systemic Pharmacological Intervention

1Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 2Department of Pharmacology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3Department of Neuroscience, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 4Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania


JoVE 51079

 Science Education: Essentials of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care

Arterial Line Placement

JoVE Science Education

Source: Sharon Bord, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Maryland, USA

When monitoring patients, it is important to obtain values that are accurate and reliable. Blood pressure monitoring is one of the essential vital signs, and for a majority of patients, measuring it utilizing non-invasive techniques provides accurate values. However, there are situations in which the blood pressure requires more exact, specific, and reliable measurements. This can be achieved by intra-arterial blood pressure monitoring and requires arterial line placement. Arterial line placement refers to the insertion of a catheter, which is able to transduce blood pressure, into one of the major arteries (e.g., radial or femoral artery). Patients who potentially need arterial line placement include those with extreme low (such as in sepsis or cardiogenic shock) or high (as in cerebrovascular accident or hypertensive emergency) blood pressure measurements. Many of these patients are placed on vasoactive medications to either increase or decrease blood pressure. When the goal is to decrease a patient's blood pressure, it must be done gradually, which further necessitates close blood pressure monitoring. Arterial line placement is also ideal for patients who require frequent arterial blood gas moni

 JoVE Medicine

Automated Measurement of Microcirculatory Blood Flow Velocity in Pulmonary Metastases of Rats

1Division of Plastic, Maxillofacial, and Oral Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, 3Department of Cardiology, University of Colorado Denver, 4Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Mainz


JoVE 51630

 JoVE Medicine

Prehospital Thrombolysis: A Manual from Berlin

1Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 2Klinik und Hochschulambulanz für Neurologie, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 3Medical School of the Universität Hamburg, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg - Eppendorf, 4Berliner Feuerwehr, 5STEMO-Consortium


JoVE 50534

 Science Education: Essentials of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care

Intraosseous Needle Placement

JoVE Science Education

Source: Julianna Jung, MD, FACEP, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Maryland, USA

For unstable patients requiring urgent administration of medications, fluids, or blood products, establishing vascular access quickly is essential. However, there are many factors that can complicate placement of a peripheral intravenous cannula (PIV), and it is extremely common for PIV attempts to fail. PIV placement may be technically challenging in small children, injection drug users, obese people, people with chronic illnesses necessitating frequent vascular access, and in those with burns and other skin conditions. Furthermore, for patients in shock, blood is shunted away from the periphery in order to compensate for impaired perfusion of vital organs, making peripheral vessels difficult to find and

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations I

Cardiac Exam I: Inspection and Palpation

JoVE Science Education

Source: Suneel Dhand, MD, Attending Physician, Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The cardiac assessment is one of the core examinations performed by almost every physician whenever encountering a patient. Disorders of the cardiac system are among the most common reasons for hospital admission, with conditions ranging from myocardial infarction to congestive heart failure. Learning a complete and thorough cardiac examination is therefore crucial for any practicing physician. If there is pathology in the heart or circulatory system, the consequences can also be manifested in other bodily areas, including the lungs, abdomen, and legs. Many physicians instinctively reach straight for their stethoscopes when performing cardiac exams. However, a large amount of information is gained before auscultation by going through the correct sequence of examination, starting with inspection and palpation.

 JoVE Medicine

A Model of Free Tissue Transfer: The Rat Epigastric Free Flap

1Anatomy Department, NOVA Medical School, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department and Burn Unit, Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Central - Hospital de São José, 3UCIBIO, Life Sciences Department, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 4CEDOC, NOVA Medical School, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 5Physics Department, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, LIBPhys, 6Pathology Department, Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Central – Hospital de São José


JoVE 55281

 JoVE Neuroscience

In vivo Imaging of Optic Nerve Fiber Integrity by Contrast-Enhanced MRI in Mice

1Hans Berger Department of Neurology, Jena University Hospital, 2Immunology, Leibniz Institute for Age Research, Fritz Lipmann Institute, Jena, 3Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Medical Physics Group, Jena University Hospital


JoVE 51274

 JoVE Medicine

Bile Duct Ligation in Mice: Induction of Inflammatory Liver Injury and Fibrosis by Obstructive Cholestasis

1Institute of Molecular Pathobiochemistry, Experimental Gene Therapy and Clinical Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University, 2Institute for Laboratory Animal Science and Experimental Surgery, RWTH Aachen University, 3Department of Medicine III, RWTH Aachen University


JoVE 52438

 JoVE Biology

Intravital Microscopy for Imaging Subcellular Structures in Live Mice Expressing Fluorescent Proteins

1Intracellular Membrane Trafficking Unit, Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, 2Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 3Department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering and Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University


JoVE 50558

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