In operating rooms and intensive care units across the United States, the need for data is intense. Monitoring patients is essential for the procedure to be a success. These environments demand the use of patient monitors for any of several reasons. Whether new or used, patient monitors have formed, since the 1950s, an essential tool in the fight against disease and the ongoing measurement and observation of the physiological functions of a patient.
Patient Monitors: Definition and Categories
As the name clearly indicates, patient monitors are the mechanical means through which medical professionals, whether doctors, nurses or related personnel, can observe the condition of a patient. These devices can provide them with data on current situations. They can also act as signaling devices – alerting the caregivers to any potentially life-threatening issues.
Categorization of new and used patient monitors depends upon the basis. Some refer to them in terms of the patient who requires monitoring. As a result, patient monitors may be described as the physiological monitoring of patients:
- Who have an unstable physiologic regulatory system
- Who have a potentially life-threatening condition
- Who are at high risk for developing a deadly condition
- Who are already in a serious physical state
Another way to classify patient monitors is by using the focal point of the device. As a result, medical professionals refer to
- Cardiac (heart) monitoring
- Hemodynamic monitoring, (blood pressure and blood flow within the circulatory system)
- Respiratory (Breathing) monitoring
- Neurological (Brain) monitoring, such as of intracranial pressure.
- Blood glucose monitoring: common for diabetic patients
These devices concentrate on providing clinical information with ease, quickly and accurately.
New and Used Patient Monitors
Patient monitors provide a valuable service in and out of the OR and ICU. Whether new or used, patient monitors must be reliable. Failure to do so can put a life in jeopardy.
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