Vital signs

Definition

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)

Blood Pressure:

     
  • Systolic: less than 120 mm of mercury (mm Hg)  
  • Diastolic: less than 80 mm Hg

 

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Harutyun Medina, M.D.

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