Vital signs are physical signs that indicate an individual is alive, such as heart beat, breathing rate, temperature, and blood pressure. These signs can be observed, measured, and monitored to assess an individual’s level of physical functioning. Normal vital signs change with age, sex, weight, exercise tolerance, and condition.
Normal ranges for the average healthy adult:
Temperature: 97.8-99.1 degrees Fahrenheit / average 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit
Breathing: 12-18 respirations (breaths) per minute
Pulse: 60-80 beats per minute (at rest)
- Systolic: less than 120 mm of mercury (mm Hg)
- Diastolic: less than 80 mm Hg
by Martin A. Harms, M.D.
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