The main indicators of the vital functions of the human body, respiration, cardiac activity, diuresis, temperature, consciousness.

It should be remembered that emergency conditions of the human body are usually associated with impaired function of vital organs (heart, lungs, kidneys), severe disorders of the central nervous system. To identify an emergency, you need to know the normal vital signs of the body. These include breathing, cardiac activity, diuresis, temperature, consciousness. 

The main indicators of the vital functions of the human body, respiration, cardiac activity, diuresis, temperature, consciousness.


Closely observing the movements of the chest and abdomen, it is easy to determine the type of breathing, its frequency, depth and rhythm. Respiration may be chest, abdominal or mixed.

Breast breathing.

Respiratory movements of the chest are carried out mainly due to the contraction of the intercostal muscles. Moreover, the chest during inspiration significantly expands and slightly rises, and during exhalation narrows and slightly drops. This type of breathing is also called costal. It occurs mainly in women.

Abdominal breathing.

Breathing with it is carried out mainly by the diaphragm. In the inspiratory phase, it contracts and falls, thereby contributing to an increase in negative pressure in the chest cavity and the rapid filling of the lungs with air. At the same time, due to an increase in intra-abdominal pressure, the abdominal wall shifts forward. In the exhalation phase, the diaphragm relaxes and rises, which is accompanied by the return of the anterior abdominal wall of the abdomen to its original position. This type of breathing is also called diaphragmatic. It is more common in men.

Mixed breathing.

Respiratory movements occur simultaneously due to contraction of the intercostal muscles and diaphragm. This type of breathing is more often observed in elderly people and in some pathological conditions of the respiratory apparatus and abdominal organs. Counting the number of breaths is carried out by the movement of the chest or abdominal wall, moreover, invisibly to the patient. First, count the pulse, and then the number of breaths per minute.

In an adult healthy person at rest, the number of respiratory movements (inhalation and exhalation) is 16–18 per minute, in a newborn – 40–50 (this number in a child gradually decreases with age). In sleep, breathing slows down (in adults – up to 12-14 per minute), and during physical exertion, emotional arousal, after a heavy meal, it speeds up. More noticeably, the respiratory rate changes in some pathological conditions. In severe diseases and conditions, breathing becomes pathological, irregular, with changes in the duration of inspiration and expiration, as well as respiratory rate.

Heart activity.

The effectiveness of cardiac activity depends on the contractile function of the heart. It is determined by systolic, cardiac output and heart rate. Systolic, or shock, heart volume corresponds to the amount of blood that is ejected by the ventricle of the heart with each contraction. This indicator depends on the size of the heart, the state of the heart muscle and the body. In an adult, systolic heart volume is normal – about 70–80 ml. With a contraction of the left and right ventricles, 140–160 ml of blood enters the arterial bed.

Minute heart volume is the amount of blood that the heart ventricle ejects in 1 minute. On average, it corresponds to 3-5 liters per minute. The left and right ventricles of the heart eject almost the same amount of blood. With severe physical exertion, this figure can increase up to 30 liters per minute. Minute heart volume can be calculated by increasing the rate of systolic heart volume by heart rate in 1 minute.

Heart rate is calculated in 1 minute. Normally, it depends on age. In newborns, it corresponds to 120-140, in children under 5 years old – 100-130, in children 5-10 years old – 78-100, in children 11-15 years old – 78-80, and in people 16-60 years old – 60- 80. The heart rate usually corresponds to the heart rate. And it is determined in the area of ​​the surface location of large arteries (radial, ulnar, temporal, carotid). With significant physical exertion and under the influence of emotions, the pulse rate increases. In a healthy person, it then quickly bounces back..

The main indicators of the vital functions of the human body, respiration, cardiac activity, diuresis, temperature, consciousness.


Diuresis is the volume of urine allocated for a certain time. More often it is determined per day. An adult normally excrete urine per day in the amount of 75% of the volume of fluid drunk. The daily fluid requirement in humans is 1.5–2 liters. Under normal conditions, under such a water regime, 1.2–1.5 liters of urine are excreted per day. In children, these indicators depend on age. In newborns, diuresis per day is 150–240 ml, in children from 1 month to 1 year – 250–650 ml, in children 1–5 years old – on average 750 ml, in children 5–10 years old – about 950 ml, older – 1.2 liters. To determine the daily diuresis in young children, you can use baby urinals or weigh dry and wet diapers after changing them.

Then you need to determine the difference in indicators, and after 24 hours summarize them. Subject to the daily norms of fluid intake, significant deviations in diuresis indicate a disease. A decrease in urine volume per day less than 500 ml indicates impaired renal function, and its increase of more than 2000 ml usually occurs with diseases of the endocrine system and metabolic disorders or in the polyuric stage of renal failure. In some emergency conditions (obstruction of the stones of the ureters), the excretion of urine may completely stop, but its formation will continue. In this case, a rupture of the urinary organs is possible..

Human body temperature.

Most diseases and some emergency conditions are accompanied by a change (often an increase) in body temperature. It changes during the day. In the morning, it is always lower, and in the evening it rises up to the upper limit of the norm. Normal are its fluctuations from 36.1 to 36.9 degrees. The temperature of the skin depends not only on the state of the body, but also on environmental factors: temperature, atmospheric humidity, etc..

The farther this or that part of the body is from the heart and large vessels, the stronger this dependence. For example, the temperature of the hands and feet can be 1–2 degrees, and in cold weather –– 3–4 degrees lower than the temperature in the armpit. The temperature of the internal organs depends on the intensity of their work. It is usually higher than usual. That is why when measuring the temperature in the vagina or rectum, you can get numbers 0.3-0.4 degrees higher.


When assessing the severity of the condition of the victim or patient, they pay attention to the presence or absence of consciousness. Impairment of consciousness can vary in severity and duration. For a short time, loss of consciousness occurs with fainting; with epilepsy, it is combined with convulsions, is able to go to sleep. Traumatic brain injuries are accompanied by a longer loss of consciousness up to several hours. Severe metabolic disorders in the body and brain diseases can also lead to a longer unconscious state..


This is a violation of consciousness associated with a decrease in the susceptibility of external stimuli. It is accompanied by a violation of the logic of thinking, inactivity, difficult orientation in the current situation. Drowsiness is observed, the patient’s response appears only to strong irritants (loud sound, bright light).


This is a pronounced depression of consciousness. It usually develops after stunning. The patient is motionless, his reflex reactions occur only to strong external stimuli. With severe pain, moans appear, facial expressions change accordingly, motor reactions appear. Coma develops further. It appears with severe impairment of brain function. The patient is unconscious, motionless, does not respond to external stimuli. Violations of the activity of vital organs.


This is a violation of consciousness, accompanied by disorientation in space and time, hallucinations and delirium. Often with delirium, speech and motor agitation is noted. In this condition, the patient can be dangerous to others, able to inflict bodily harm.


This is a violation of consciousness, characterized by incoherent thinking, disorientation in the world, time and self. It may be accompanied by aimless motor activity, general excitement. After recovery, usually the patient does not remember anything about this condition..


This is a state of consciousness, but characterized by complete immobility of the patient. Moreover, reactions to external stimuli are very sluggish or even absent. Often develops with schizophrenia, mental trauma. When providing emergency care, it is necessary to consider the presence of impaired consciousness in the victim and take appropriate measures.

Based on the book “Quick help in emergency situations”.
Kashin S.P..

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