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The following is a checklist that can be used as a template to memorise normal quantitative values for basic medical conditions and management.

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Vital signs (average)

< 6 months

6 months – 3 years

3 – 12 years

Adult

Pulse

120–140

110

80 – 100

60 – 100

Respiratory rate

45

30

20

14

BP (mmHg)

90/60

90/60

100/70

≤ 130/85

Children’s weight

1–10 years

Rule of thumb:

Wt = (age + 4) × 2 kg

Fever—temperature (morning)(a)

(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’. Dangerous ≥ 41.5°C.

Oral

> 37.2°C

Rectal

> 37.7°C

Diabetes mellitus—Diagnostic criteria: blood sugar

Random

1 reading if symptomatic

2 readings if asymptomatic

> 11.1 mmol/L

Fasting

> 7.0 mmol/L

or

the 2 values from an oral GTT

Hypokalaemia

Serum potassium

< 3.5 mmol/L

Jaundice

Serum bilirubin

> 19 μmol/L

Hyperkalaemia

Serum potassium

> 5.0 mmol/L

Hypertension

BP

> 140/90 mmHg

Alcohol excessive drinking

Males

> 4 standard drinks/day

Females

> 2 standard drinks/day

Alcohol health guidelines (NHMRC)

Males and females

≤ 10 standard drinks/week

< 4 standard drinks/occasion

Anaemia—haemoglobin

Males

< 130 g/L

Females

< 120 g/L

Body mass index

Wt (kg)/Ht (m2)

Normal

20–25

Overweight

> 25

Obesity

> 30

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