Somatometry is a concept that is not included in the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ). The notion refers to the group of techniques that allow accurate measurements of the dimensions of a body.
Somatometry, therefore, is found in the orbit of anatomy. Biology, paleontology, anthropology and other sciences appeal to somatometry to develop different kinds of studies.
The body mass index ( BMI ), height and weight are variables that the somatometry measures. These data are usually added to the record of the so-called vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, temperature) to complete the development of a basic physical examination.
It is considered that the stature and the weight are measures of general type of length and mass, respectively. Somatometry also appeals to other studies, such as measuring the length of limbs or establishing proportions between different parts and sectors of the body.
A general analysis of a person's somatometry may involve measuring the length of their body from the head to the sole of the feet, along with measuring the contour of their figure. In addition, its mass is quantified (what we know as weight). The results of these measurements are useful for the medical professional to assess the nutritional status of the subject. The values of somatometry, complemented by other types of studies (such as blood and urine tests, for example), can help the professional to make a diagnosis.
Within the scope of nursing, somatometry plays a special role. In particular, it is used in this case with several important objectives such as the following:
-Value the patient's state of health.
-To be able to detect some measures that do not conform at all to what the body normality indexes are.
-Value the growth of the individual.
-To be able to undertake the follow-up of a specific patient.
-To be able to establish an accurate diagnosis of what happens to the patient.
In order to be able to develop, therefore, the technique or the action of somatometry with total reliability and certainty, it is important that the health professionals previously take into account a series of very important considerations such as the following:
-In terms of sex or even age, the parameters considered "normal" will be one or the other.
-Excess clothing and even having eaten food or drink before the measurements can vary to some extent the results obtained. But not only that will also alter the fact that the person in question has practiced half an hour before submitting to the study.
The mentioned somatometry takes special prominence when it comes to newborns, since it will come to determine if they are well or if they have some kind of disease or problem. For that, as soon as they come into the world the nurses proceed to weigh them, measure them, check the cephalic perimeter they have, certify the state of the fontanelles…