Objectives: Vital signs assessment is a critical component of acute clinical care. Despite this, research has consistently found that the assessment of these signs is often neglected in clinical practice. This paper highlights three recent cases reported in the media where the neglect of vital signs assessment resulted in patient mortality. Results: Recent media reports highlighted the potentially devastating consequences of vital signs not being rigorously assessed, including avoidable death. The public needs to be confident they will receive safe, quality health care when they are admitted to hospital. Conclusion: The neglect of vital signs assessment places patients at risk of poor outcomes. Early detection of clinical deterioration via the assessment of vital signs facilitates prompt medical intervention. Factors contributing to the neglect of vital signs assessment need to be identified and corrective action is taken to improve the safety of clinical care.
- vital signs