It is widely recognised that the measurement of vital signs and calculation of shock index is not just important during pregnancy, but also in the prevention and detection of disease in non-pregnant adults.
Screening for hypertension- why is it important?
1 in 3 adults suffer from hypertension worldwide. Many affected can go for years without experiencing symptoms and therefore seeking treatment to manage their condition. In low-income countries, where access to healthcare screening and provision is often poor, the majority of people suffering from hypertension go undiagnosed and untreated. Around half the people with untreated hypertension die of heart disease related to poor blood flow and another third die of stroke. Regular monitoring of vital signs can therefore play a crucial role in early identification of hypertension and intervention before potentially irreversible organ damage can occur.
Monitoring vital signs and shock
Abnormal vital signs and the incidence of shock (normal to low blood pressure coupled with an accelerated heart rate) are commonly associated with bleeding, infection and dehydration. In low-income settings there is a lack of awareness of, and ability to measure, vital signs- despite it playing such a simple but effective role in the monitoring of patient’s conditions and the detection of disease.
The CRADLE Bidibidi project is currently investigating the significance of vital signs monitoring in the detection of disease within a symptomatic refugee population.