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The following is a type of checklist that one can use as a template in everyday practice and for teaching.

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Hypertension BP >140/90 mmHg
Alcohol: excessive drinking ♀ >2 SDs/d; ♂ >2 SDs/d
Anaemia Haemoglobin ♀ <115 g/L; ♂ <130 g/L
Body mass index Wt(kg)/Ht(m2) normal 20–25
overweight >25
obesity >30
Jaundice s. bilirubin >19 µmol/L
Fever temperature (morning)(a) oral >37.2°C
rectal >37.7°C

(a) There is considerable diurnal variation in temperature so that it is higher in the evening 0.5–1°C. I would recommend the definition given by Yung et al. in Infectious Diseases: A Clinical Approach: ‘Fever can be defined as an early morning oral temperature >37.2°C or a temperature >37.8°C at other times of the day’.

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Diabetes mellitus blood sugar—random(b) >11.1 mmol/L
blood sugar—fasting >7.0 mmol/L(c)
Hypokalaemia s. potassium <3.5 mmol/L
Hyperkalaemia s. potassium >5.0 mmol/L

(b) 1 reading if symptomatic, 2 readings if asymptomatic

(c) or the 2 values from an oral GTT

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Vital signs (average) <6 mths 6 mths–3 yrs 3–12 yrs Adult
Pulse (beats/min) 120–140 110 80–100 60–100
Respiration rate (breaths/min) 45 30 20 14
BP (mmHg) 90/60 90/60 100/70 ≤130/85
Children's weight rule of thumb
(1–10 yr old) Wt = (age + 4) × 2 kg

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