Vital statistics, or vital signs, are the first data taken by an Emergency Medical Technician or other medical responder.

The Vital Signs are taken from the vital organs, those which sustain life. Without proper function of each vital organ, death or serious damage is imminent.

  • heart rate: beats per minute
  • breathing rate: breaths per minute
  • blood pressure: systolic and diastolic
  • A medical technician accredited by the American Red Cross learns this mnemonic for first actions:

  • A - Airway; check and enforce that air can get to the lungs
  • B - Breathing; check and enforce that air is getting to the lungs
  • C - Circulation; check and enforce that blood is getting pumped to the body
  • Once the victim has all three, the responder should keep accurate statistics of all vital signs until the patient has no further need for immediate health care.

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