Critical Care

What vital signs are taken in the emergency room?

A Answers (5)

  • ALisa Moment, Nursing, answered on behalf of Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)

    Vital signs that are taken in the emergency room include a temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation.

    Pain is also recognized as a vital sign and patients will be asked to rate their pain.

    Additionally, depending on the age of the patient, weight may be obtained. This especially holds true for children because the dosage of the medications they receive is based on weight.

  • AClark Newhall, MD, Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of MDLIVE
    Every ER patient should have a blood pressure, pulse, temperature and respiratory rate recorded on the chart, both at the time of entry to the emergency room and before leaving.  The only exception to this would be a very simple follow-up visit with no new complaints and with prior normal vital signs.
    In addition, most ER physicians now regard the oxygen saturation (measures the amount of oxygen in the blood) as the "fifth vital sign" that should be recorded in all patients. 
  • AMelissa Taylor, Emergency Room Nursing, answered on behalf of Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)

    Temperature, blood pressure, pulse [number of heart beats in a minute], respirations [number of breaths taken in a minute], oxygen saturation [indirect measure of oxygen in the blood] and pain are the vital signs taken in the ER. Pain can be measured on a verbal scale of 0 to 10. Zero represents no pain; 5 represents somewhat of a nuisance, but bearable; and 10 is an excruciating level of pain that is almost indescribable.

    If a person is non-verbal, due to critical illness or sedation, or if the person is an infant or very young child, pain can be assessed by facial grimace and behavioral cues. These cues can be translated into a number from 0 to 10 based on standardized behavioral scales. Medical literature supports behavioral pain scales as being reliable measures of pain in non-communicative people. Additionally, visual acuity testing by the Snellen eye chart is considered the “vital sign of the eyes.” Visual acuity is the ability of the eye to see fine detail. This acuity is evaluated when a person has complaint of new onset blurred vision or traumatic eye injury.

  • ADeb Cordes, Physical Medicine/rehabilitation, answered on behalf of Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
    Vital signs taken in the emergency room are normally a blood pressure, counting respirations (how many times a person breathes in a minute), pulse (how many times the heart beats in a minute) and temperature. Sometimes, if the patient is complaining of shortness of breath the doctor may order and 02 saturation to me taken. An 02 staturation can be measured by placing a probe on the patients finger or ear lobe. This probe can measure the  amount of oxygen that is your blood.
  • AElif Oker, MD, Emergency Medicine, answered

    Blood pressure, temperature, heart rate (pulse) and respiratory rate (how fast you are breathing) are the 4 main vital signs taken in the emergency department.  


Did You See?  Close
Are life threatening illnesses treated in the emergency room?