It is used by medical professionals to determine the heart rate of a patient.
The pulse, or tangible heartbeat, is measured in beats per minute (bpm) and can indicate the general health or fitness of a patient.
The radial pulse is a peripheral pulse that is the result of a heartbeat as felt through the walls of the radial artery.
What is felt at the periphery ( radial artery ) is not the blood flowing through the arteries, but the shock wave that travels along the artery walls as the heart contracts each time it produces a rhythmic wave.
The resting heart rate is taken when a calm person is sitting or lying down. A normal resting heart rate for an adult is between 60 and 100 bpm.
High resting heart rate can be caused by exercise, illness, certain medications, heart disease, and stress .
On the other hand, various medications and a high level of fitness can cause a low resting heart rate.
To measure the radial pulse, the heart rate must be counted for at least fifteen seconds. However, it can also be measured for twenty, thirty or sixty seconds.
If you are measuring a pulse for fifteen, twenty, or thirty seconds, you must multiply the number that counts by four, three, or two, respectively, to calculate your heart rate in bpm.
You do not need prior medical experience to perform this procedure, and you should be able to complete these instructions in five minutes or less.
Although the instructions guide you through measuring another person’s pulse, you can measure your own pulse.
For most people, heart rate and pulse rate are the same.
However, the two are technically different: heart rate measures the rate of contractions of the heart, while heart rate measures the rate at which blood pressure rises throughout the body.
In individuals with specific heart conditions that prevent the heart from pumping blood efficiently with each contraction, the pulse rate may be lower than the heart rate. But that is an exception.
Types of pulses
According to the American Heart Association, the best places to take your pulse are on your wrist, inside your elbow, on the side of your neck, or on the top of your foot.
You can also take a pulse at the groin, at the temple, or behind the knees.
The pulse felt in the neck is called the carotid pulse. When it is felt in the groin, it is called a femoral pulse.
The pulse in your wrist is called a radial pulse. The pedal pulse is in the foot and the brachial pulse is below the elbow.
The apical pulse is the pulse found at the top of the heart, as often heard through a stethoscope with the patient lying on their left side.
The heartbeat consists of two different sounds, often referred to as a “lub-dub,” and each lub-dub counts as one beat.
Another common place to take a pulse is the carotid artery, which is located in the neck, between the wind tube and the neck muscle.
In addition to performing an EKG, doctors find that taking the apical pulse is the most accurate and non-invasive way to assess heart health.
The apical pulse provides information on the count, rhythm, strength, and quality of the heart.
Taking your pulse
Taking a pulse is easy, especially if you do it on your wrist or neck.
Simply place the index and third fingers on the inside of the wrist, under the base of the thumb, between the bone and the tendon.
This point is on the radial artery. When you feel your pulse beat, count the beats for 15 seconds. Multiply the count by four to calculate the number of beats per minute.
What is an average pulse?
A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm).
Women tend to have slightly higher heart rates than men; The average heart rate at rest in women is in the mid-70s, while in men it is around 70.
This is mainly due to the fact that the male heart muscle is stronger.
Other factors can also affect your resting heart rate, such as age, body size, fitness level, heart conditions, whether you are sitting or standing, medications, emotions, and even air temperature.
In general, people in good cardiovascular fitness, such as athletes, experience a lower resting heart rate, sometimes 40 or less.
The following are healthy pulse rate guidelines recommended by the National Institutes of Health:
- Newborns up to 1 month of age: 70 to 190 bpm.
- Babies 1 to 11 months of age: 80 to 160 bpm.
- Children 1 to 2 years: 80 to 130 bpm.
- Children 3 to 4 years: 80 to 120 bpm.
- Children 5 to 6 years: 75 to 115 bpm.
- Children 7 to 9 years: 70 to 110 bpm.
- Children 10 years and older, and adults (including older adults): 60 to 100 bpm
- Well-trained athletes: 40 to 60 bpm.