There are four vital signs considered when looking at the condition of a patient. These vital signs are temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate and pulse rate. Though this is a standard procedure, some people would think that pulse rate and blood pressure are the same which is bogus. Moreover, most people would think that the pulse rate is not as important as the other vital signs which is also a major mistake.
Pulse rate (PR) is the number of beats recorded in a minute. This is entirely different with the blood pressure which has a diastolic and systolic reading.Also known as a cardiac rate or heart rate, it is different for every person. Children have faster pulse rates than adults. However it is entirely different for adults whose pulses are faster or slower than usual. This means that these people might have health problems. Children which are aged 6 to 15 years old have a heart rate of 70 to 100 beats per minute normally. People who are aged 18 above however have 60 to 100 normal beats per minute. These may vary depending on what activity that person is on which is why there are different kinds to be considered.
The first type of rate is the resting pulse. This is recorded when the person is at rest. This is also the usual pulse recorded from a patient. Another type of pulse is the maximum pulse rate (MPR). This is the highest rate that ever can be recorded from a person. The MPR is dependent on the age of the person. It is computed with 220 minus the age of the person. The difference is considered as the predicted MPR. The practical recording of this may be done after undergoing a graded exercise test. The last type is the target pulse rate (TPR). This is computed by getting the 60 percent of the MPR’s 80 percent. This is the standard pulse recorded when a person is undergoing an exercise routine.
Determining the rate of the pulse is a simple matter and can be done by anyone. It can be recorded by using the index, second and third finger on certain areas where the pulse can be felt. These areas are on the wrist, temples of the head, inside of the foot, neck, behind the knees and in the groin. Counting the beats the whole minute may be avoided by simply counting the beats on the first 10 seconds and multiplying it by 6. This may be done with the usual resting pulse rate. The maximum pulse rate and the target heart rate however are computed in a different way. Both rates can be computed using a specific formula.
Knowing one’s rate is important primarily because it is one of the vital signs. It is important not only because it is one of the vital signs but because it could know if something is wrong with the health of the person.