Capillary refill

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Capillary refill time (CRT) is defined as the time taken for color 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 or fingernail until it turns white, and taking note of the time needed for the color to return once pressure is released.[2] 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 color to return once the pressure is released. The upper normal limit for capillary refill in newborns is 2 seconds.[3] 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.[4] Prolonged capillary refill time may also suggest Peripheral Vascular Disease.[5] 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.[6]

See also[edit]

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 99: 111–116. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-305198. PMID 24227793. 
  2. ^ http://www.scripps.org/articles/2748-capillary-nail-refill-test
  3. ^ Krzysztof S Strozik, Clarissa H Pieper, Jacques Roller (1997-01-13). "Capillary refilling time in newborn babies: normal values". Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition 76 (3): F193–F196. doi:10.1136/fn.76.3.F193. 
  4. ^ David C. Dugdale, III, MD (2009-05-07). "Capillary nail refill test". Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  5. ^ http://www.scripps.org/articles/2748-capillary-nail-refill-test
  6. ^ King, D; Morton, R; Bevan, C (Nov 13, 2013). "How to use capillary refill time.". Archives of disease in childhood. Education and practice edition 99: 111–116. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-305198. PMID 24227793. 

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