University of Portsmouth research on checking hospital patients’ vital signs 

Picture: Sophie Hall
Picture: Sophie Hall
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RESEARCHERS are looking at how often nurses should check patients’ vital signs

The University of Portsmouth is leading the study which aims to identify the ideal frequency of observations for keeping patients safe while avoiding unnecessary extra work for busy staff.

The project focuses on the National Early Warning Score which consists of the ‘vital sign’ measurements of pulse, respiration rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation and alertness.

It recommends patients should be checked at least twice a day but checking too often can be annoying for patients and interfere with rest and sleep.

The project aims to identify the correct balance.

Lead investigator Jim Briggs, Professor of Informatics at the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘We want to see if we can answer the question: “how often should vital signs be taken?” We aim to provide the first evidence-based protocol for patient monitoring, which will be both safe and achievable.’