Wednesday, December 30, 2009


David and Dad both felt that, tonight, from about 10:30PM to midnight, Mom seemed relaxed for the first time since her entry into the ICU. I wasn't seeing what they were seeing, but their intuitions about Mom are no less valid than mine.

Mom did seem fairly peaceful when we came in. At one point, her blood pressure was extremely low, but the ICU staffers weren't overly concerned: next to the systolic/diastolic fraction on the vital stats monitor, there's a number in parentheses that the staffers consider far more important. I'm still unsure what this number indicates. Dad ventured that it might be an average of some sort, but when I mentally worked out the math by averaging Mom's systolic and diastolic measures, the result didn't match the number in the parentheses. David thought the number might represent some sort of average over time, but without knowing more, I have no idea what that might mean.

Dad, who's dead tired from all the calling and organizing he's engaged in, left a bit early-- around 11:30PM. David and I stayed until midnight, then we left Mom to her repose. May she rest well.



Charles said...

Blood pressure machines often also measure pulse as well--is it possible that that's what it was? Just shooting in the dark here.

Kevin Kim said...

I did a bit of searching, and it turns out that the number in parentheses is the MAP: Mean Arterial Pressure. Despite the name, the calculation isn't a typical arithmetic mean; see here.

Kevin Kim said...

Forgot to mention that, on the vital stats monitor, pulse and heart rate (which are distinct for some mysterious reason... I'll look it up) are given their own separate spaces. In other words, those stats are explicitly labeled as "pulse" and "heart rate," whereas MAP merely appears as a number in parentheses next to the BP reading.

Charles said...

Ah, I wondered if that might not be the case (i.e., pulse having a separate space). It's been a really long time since I've since a vital stats monitor, and I don't think I've ever looked at one all that closely.

I had never heard of MAP before.

Kevin Kim said...

Me, neither.