Should you routinely record respiratory rate? What do you think?
Measurement of respiratory rate should be undertaken meticulously, following local protocols and EWS guidelines. It is necessary to count the number of respirations in a minute. If patients realise their breathing is being watched, the rate may actually increase. To avoid this, healthcare professionals can pretend to check the radial pulse while, at the same time, counting the respiratory rate.
- Critical illness: it is an important component of the ABCDE approach;
- Ascertaining a baseline respiratory rate for comparison;
- Monitoring changes in oxygenation or in respiratory rate.
- Evaluating response to treatment, for example, following administration of a beta-2 agonist in the treatment of asthma.
- Jevon P (2010) How to ensure patient observations lead to prompt identification of tachypnoea. Nursing Times;106: 2, 2010.
Author Phil Jevon is resuscitation officer and clinical skills lead, Manor Hospital, Walsall.