Heart Rate And Rhythm

By examining arterial pulses, you can count the rate of the heart and determine its rhythm, assess the amplitude and contour of the pulse wave, and sometimes detect obstructions to blood flow.

Heart Rate. The radial pulse is commonly used to assess the heart rate. With the pads of your index and middle fingers, compress the radial artery until a maximal pulsation is detected. If the rhythm is regular and the rate seems normal, count the rate for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. If the rate is unusually fast or slow, however, count it for 60 seconds.

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