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Title: Defining a reference range for vital signs in healthy term pregnant women undergoing caesarean section.
Authors: Dennis AT
Hardy L
Keywords: vital signs
reference range
reference values
cesarean section
Issue Date: 2016
Source: 44(6):752-757
Abstract: Early warning systems (EWS), used to identify deteriorating hospitalised patients, are based on measurement of vital signs. When the patients are pregnant, most EWS still use non-pregnant reference ranges of vital signs to determine trigger thresholds. There are no published reference ranges for all vital signs in pregnancy. We aimed to define vital signs reference ranges for term pregnancy in the preoperative period, and to determine the appropriateness of EWS trigger criteria in pregnancy. We conducted a one-year retrospective study in a tertiary referral obstetric hospital. The study sample was healthy term women undergoing planned caesarean section (CS). Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR), oxygen saturation (SpO2) and temperature were all measured automatically and data was extracted from the medical record. Two hundred and fifty-eight women met inclusion criteria. Results were (mean ± SD [standard deviation]) SBP 118 ± 11.2 mmHg, DBP 75 ± 10.3 mmHg, HR 84 ± 10.2 /minute, respiratory rate 18 ± 1.5 /minute, SpO2 99%  ± 1.0% and temperature 36.4°C ± 0.43°C. The reference ranges (mean ± 2SD) determined were SBP 96-140 mmHg, DBP 54-96 mmHg, HR 64-104/minute, RR 15-21 /minute, SpO2 97%-100% and temperature 35.5°C-37.3°C. This study defined a reference range for vital signs in healthy term pregnant women undergoing CS. Study findings suggest that currently used criteria for EWS triggers, based on non-pregnant values, may be too extreme for timely detection of deteriorating pregnant patients. Further research examining the modified HR triggers of ≤50 and ≥110 /minute in pregnant women and their relationship to clinical outcomes is required.
PubMed URL:
Journal Title: Anaesthesia and intensive care
Type: Journal Article
Study/Trial: Observational study
Appears in Collections:Scholarly and Clinical

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