Parameters Measured by a Patient Monitor

A patient monitor is medical equipment designed to monitor the vital physiological signs of adult patients and children. By real-time recording function and displayed parameters such as ECG, non-invasive blood pressure, body temperature, functional oxygen saturation, etc. allows a comprehensive analysis of the physiological conditions of the patient. The use of this instrument is planned in hospitals and clinical institutions. Operations must only be carried out by qualified personnel.

This equipment has an alarm system that alerts the medical staff when there is an emergency situation or outside the desired limits in the patient.

How does a patient monitor work?

This equipment collects, displays and stores all the vital signs of the patient. It works differently for each vital sign. For example, to measure heart rate, it collects the electrical activity of the heart using electrodes and amplifies it. To measure the respiratory rate, it collects and amplifies the respiratory movements of the chest. To determine the amount of oxygen the patient does through his pulse.

All these parameters are displayed separately on the vital signs monitor. In the event that any of them are below or above normal for the patient’s age, or any other adverse activity is generated, an alarm is activated to notify medical professionals.These alarms are visual and audible, although they may easily silenced if you are trying to solve the problem that has generated them.

Vital signs monitoring is carried out especially in patients undergoing anesthesia, medications or any other treatment that determines the need for blood, a variation in medication or a volume substitute, such as a plasma expander.

What are the parameters that a patient monitor displays?

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): electrodes are placed on the patient’s body that are responsible for recording and amplifying the electrical impulses of the heart.
  • Respiration (RESP): controls the respiratory rate by measuring the thoracic impedance thanks to two of the electrodes used in the ECG.
  • Temperature (TEMP): using a thermometer, it also shows the temperature that the patient has at all times.
  • Non-invasive pressure (NIBP): Non-invasive blood pressure is obtained using an electronic sphygmomanometer, the cuff of which is placed on the patient’s arm.
  • Oxygen saturation (SpO2): A pulse oximeter is placed on the patient’s finger that emits light with two different wave densities to determine their blood oxygen level.

Other parameters that can be recorded in more advanced models are

  • Invasive pressure (IP): by means of a sensitive catheter inserted into a patient’s artery, his blood pressure can be achieved with a greater precision than that offered by non-invasive pressure.
  • Venous oxygen saturation (SvO2): A catheter is inserted into the superior vena cava to obtain greater precision in determining your blood oxygen level.
  • Intracranial Pressure (ICP): An intracranial catheter is inserted into the patient to measure the pressure within the skull.

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