Capillary refill is performed on the patient nail that is free of polish. The finger nails and toe nails could be used for this assessment. The nail is lightly compressed and released, it blanches and it is measured when the color comes back to normal. The measurement is done in seconds if it is less than 3 seconds the patient’s circulation is with in normal limits, if it exceeds three seconds than further assessment is necessary to diagnose the problem (Nursing). The patient could be suffering from dehydration, peripheral vascular disease, hypothermia and shock
Capillary refill is primarily used in assessment of pediatrics patient. When combining the lack of capillary refill the dry mucous membrane it could lead to diagnose of dehydration. It is in concurrence with skin assessment to the hand that appears cold to touch; the infant is diagnosed with dehydration. In conjunction with infant when an adult is tested and results are abnormal further inquires is mandated. Anorexics individuals who lack the ingestion of electrolyte feel cold to touch. They may have brittle nails, poor circulation and longer than normal capillary refills. These individuals’ electrolyte counts need to be closely monitored because it could lead to poor circulation, dysrhythmias and many other medical problems ( Dufault). It is important when assessing the patient to include the capillary refills, and closely monitor patient who seem abnormal.
http://nursing411.org/courses/md0531 . Extracted 10/31/12.
Dufault M., Davis, B., Garman D., Hehl R., Henry J., Lavin M., Mullany J., Stout P. (2008). Translating Best Practice in Assessing Capillary Refill. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing.