Capillary refill

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Capillary refill time (CRT) is defined as the time taken for colour to return to an external capillary bed after pressure is applied to cause blanching.[1] It can be measured by holding a hand higher than heart-level, pressing the soft pad of a finger until it turns white, and taking note of the time needed for the color to return once pressure is released. Normal capillary refill time is usually less than 2 seconds. In newborn infants, capillary refill time can be measured by pressing on the sternum for five seconds with a finger or thumb, and noting the time needed for the colour to return once the pressure is released. The upper normal limit for capillary refill in newborns is 2 seconds.[2] Capillary refill time can also be assessed in animals by pressing on their gums as opposed to the sternum which is generally covered with fur or inaccessible.

A prolonged capillary refill time may be a sign of shock and can also indicate dehydration and decreased peripheral perfusion.[3] It is generally accepted that the test is affected by many different external factors and therefore should not be relied upon as a universal diagnostic measure.[4]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ King, D; Morton, R; Bevan, C (Nov 13, 2013). "How to use capillary refill time.". Archives of disease in childhood. Education and practice edition. PMID 24227793. 
  2. ^ Krzysztof S Strozik, Clarissa H Pieper, Jacques Roller (1997-01-13). Capillary refilling time in newborn babies: normal values (3). doi:10.1136/fn.76.3.F193. 
  3. ^ David C. Dugdale, III, MD (2009-05-07). "Capillary nail refill test". Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  4. ^ King, D; Morton, R; Bevan, C (Nov 13, 2013). "How to use capillary refill time.". Archives of disease in childhood. Education and practice edition. PMID 24227793. 

Emergency Care of the Sick and Wounded, AAOS, Tenth Edition

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