Impact of patient and environmental factors on capillary refill time in adults

Anderson, Bronwyn, Kelly, Anne-Maree, Kerr, Debra, Clooney, Megan and Jolley, Damien 2008, Impact of patient and environmental factors on capillary refill time in adults, American journal of emergency medicine, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 62-65, doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2007.06.026.

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Title Impact of patient and environmental factors on capillary refill time in adults
Author(s) Anderson, Bronwyn
Kelly, Anne-Maree
Kerr, DebraORCID iD for Kerr, Debra
Clooney, Megan
Jolley, Damien
Journal name American journal of emergency medicine
Volume number 26
Issue number 1
Start page 62
End page 65
Total pages 4
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2008-01
ISSN 0735-6757
Summary OBJECTIVES: Capillary refill time (CRT) has been taught as a rapid indicator of circulatory status. The aim of this study was to define normal CRT in the Australian context and the environmental, patient, and drug factors that influence it.

METHODS: This prospective observational study included healthy adults at hospital clinics, workplaces, universities, and community groups. Volunteer participants provided their age, sex, ethnic group, and use of hypertensive or cardiac medications. Capillary refill time, ambient temperature, and patient temperature were recorded in a standard manner. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analyses. The 95th percentile was used to define the upper limit of normal.

RESULTS: One thousand participants were included; 57% were women, 90% were white, and 21% were taking cardiac medications. The median CRT was 1.9 seconds (95th percentile, 3.5 seconds). The CRT increased 3.3% for each additional decade of age. The CRT was also on average 7% lower in men than in women. The CRT decreased by 1.2% per degree-Celsius rise of ambient temperature, independently of patient's temperature, and decreased by 5% for each degree-Celsius rise in patient temperature, independently of ambient temperature. On multivariant analysis, age, sex, ambient temperature, and patient temperature were statistically significant predictors of CRT, but together explain only 8% of the observed variability.

CONCLUSION: Capillary refill time varies with environmental and patient factors, but these account for only a small proportion of the variability observed. Its suitability as a reliable clinical test is doubtful.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.ajem.2007.06.026
Field of Research 110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified
1103 Clinical Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2008, Elsevier
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