Vital signs

Vital Signs are essential not only for establishing how ill a casualty is, but for monitoring the casualty’s condition and assessing the effectiveness of treatment.

There are 4 main observations that should be noted down, where possible, including the casualty’s name and time. These observations are:

  • Skin appearance/Temperature
  • Conscious state
  • Pulse
  • Respiration

Taking vital signs observations are extremely important to emergency services who take over control of the incident. They provide a guide to the patient’s condition and response to treatment given.

Skin State

The skin is an excellent indicator of a patient’s shock level.

When recording the condition of the casualty’s skin, use

  • Colour
  • Temperature
  • Whether the skin is moist or dry