Abdominal girth measurement

  1. Has anyone ever measured abdominal girth by marking a vertical line at each side of patient and measuring from point to point only? I had a patient last week that had abdominal paracentesis. There was no order for girth measurements; however, I wanted to monitor the ascites in this patients abdomen so I measured from side to side to track the decrease in ascites. Has anyone else seen this done? As long as each point is used consistently for measurement for each shift, couldn't we track it this way? Any input is greatly appreciated!
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    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 6


  3. by   meownsmile
    Hmmm, interesting. I havent ever heard of measuring girth that way. I would think it probly has more to do with marking on the skin and the ability of the marks to remain consistent. With the stretching of the skin, the placement of the marks will change too. I mean, do you measure from the bottom of the mark,, middle, top,, as the mark widens due to stretching where do you go and how do you know what the last person to measure used as a start point? Just wondering?

    Our standard of care is a complete measurement also. All the way around.
    Last edit by meownsmile on Feb 13, '05
  4. by   suzanne4
    Never heard of it. Those marks are going to wash away at some point. The standard is to go completely around the patient, taping together the tape measures if need be. You need to make sure that everyone does it the same way and this is a known standard.