oa South African Family Practice - Is blood pressure measurement important in children? : anaesthetics supplement



The importance of blood pressure (BP) monitoring in the perioperative and intensive care setting is very clear. Data from adult and paediatric victims of trauma have suggested that systolic blood pressure (SBP) is a predictor of mortality. In many other settings, the mean arterial pressure (MAP) has been used as a surrogate for tissue perfusion and cardiac output (MAP = cardiac output x systemic vascular resistance). Routine monitoring of BP has thus been set as one of the recommended standards of care by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). Paediatric anesthesiologists routinely monitor the BP of their patients and make major diagnostic and therapeutic decisions, e.g. blood transfusion and the commencement of inotropes and resuscitation, based on deviations from "normal".


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