Physical Assessment of Neonates

The doctor usually took the physical assessment of neonates within the first 24 hours of their birth, assessment begins with a series of measurements, which includes weight, length, and head circumference. The average weight of child at birth is 7 pounds and the average length is 20 inches normally .Then the doctor examines the skin and neck, heart and lungs, and abdomen and genitals too and further proceeds for nervous system and reflexes of the infant. Doctors also go for screening tests to detect problems which are not examined during the physical examination, then auscultation of the chest, and surface of the abdomen. Then move onto eyes, ears, throat, and hips, that should be performed last, as these actions are most disturbing to the neonate.

The heart rate of a neonate should range from 120–160 beats/min, the respiratory rate from 30–60 breaths/min. Systolic blood pressure on first day must ranges from 50–70 mm Hg and increases steadily during the first week after birth. Blood pressure is increased by perinatal asphyxia and mechanical ventilation than gestational age.  irregular heart rate, caused by premature atrial contractions, and is common, benign, and generally resolves in first days of life.

  • Body temperature
  • Estimation of gestational age
  • Evaluation of size
  • Spine and head injuries
  • Genitalia and anus injuries

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