Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)


Case 3: Archie

Temperature, Respiratory Rate and Oxygen Level

Archie in a stroke unit
Archie is a 69-year-old retired accountant who was admitted to hospital after waking from sleep with loss of speech and weakness down his right side. The exact time of onset was unclear and he was admitted to the stroke unit five hours after wakening. A number of observations were carried out on admission to the stroke unit, which are shown in the chart.

Q. Are Archie’s results normal? Select either normal or abnormal for each result below.

Q. Are Archie’s results normal? Select either normal or abnormal for each result below.

Normal Abnormal
Respiratory rate (RR) 15
Heart rate (HR) 70 bpm, regular
Temperature 36.5˚C
Oxygen saturation 97% (on air)
Blood pressure (BP) 160/85

Respiratory rate (RR) – Normal – Normal Respiratory Rate (RR) is 14-20 per min at rest. For further information on respiratory rate and/or rhythm after stroke see Additional Information below.

Heart rate (HR) – Normal – Normal Heart Rate (HR) is 50-80 bpm and regular.

Temperature – Normal – Tympanic temperature is normally ≤ 37°C.

Oxygen saturation – Normal – Oxygen saturation is normally ≥ 95% on air. Hypoxic episodes are observed in around 1 in 5 acute stroke patients in the firsts few hours after admission. Symptoms of hypoxia include confusion, agitation and worsening of their neurological condition e.g. decreased conscious level.

Blood pressure (BP) – Normal – Blood pressure is often elevated (up to 220/110) after a Stroke but this usually resolves without treatment.

Page last reviewed: 23 Apr 2020