Respiratory rate: the neglected vital sign

Simon C Gandevia and David K McKenzie
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb02165.x
Published online: 3 November 2008

To the Editor: The concept that respiratory rate (RR) is a key vital sign is hardly new,1 but it is being re-emphasised.2,3 The recent article by Cretikos et al3 highlights the diagnostic relevance of a raised RR for serious adverse events. The authors make sensible recommendations regarding the need to educate hospital staff about the importance of measuring patients’ RR.

  • Simon C Gandevia1
  • David K McKenzie2

  • 1 Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW.



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