PURPOSE: Medical management of critically ill patients is based on Vital sign data. The accuracy of the vital signs obtained by nursing staff [usually LPN or technicians] using automated machinery in inner city hospitals has not been tested.
METHODS: we obtained 1000 data points on admitted patients where medical staff [Trained medical students] obtained vital signs using manual techniques within 15 minutes of routine nursing staff data. The data were compared by tabulation and one way analysis of variance.
RESULTS: The data [systolc blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and heart rate] showed significant variation between the 2 groups. This suggests that our vital sign data upon which we base therapeutic decisions may not be as accurate as we believe.
CONCLUSION: Vital sign data obtained by medical staff is significantly different from data provided by nursing staff. This leads to questions regarding the accuracy of vital sign data.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Medical staff should manually obtain vital sign data before making therapeutic decisions as the accuracy of data provided by nursing staff seems variable.
DISCLOSURE: Akella Chendrasekhar, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information