Hole's Human Anatomy and Physiology   8/e   Shier/Butler/Lewis
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Pulse

Cardiovascular

A pulse can be felt at locations where large arteries are close to the surface of the body. It is helpful to know where the major pulses can be detected because monitoring the pulse is important clinically. The heart rate, rhythmicity, and other characteristics can be determined by feeling the pulse. A pulse can be felt at three major locations on each side of the head and neck. One site is the common carotid artery at the point where it divides into internal and external carotid arteries. A second is the superficial temporal artery immediately anterior to three ear. A third is in the facial artery at the point where it crosses the inferior border of the mandible approximately midway between the angle and the genu.

A pulse can be felt at three major points in the upper limb: in the axilla, in the brachial artery on the medial side of the arm slightly proximal to the elbow, and in the radial artery on the lateral side of the anterior forearm just proximal to the wrist. The radial artery is by tradition the most common site for detecting the pulse of a patient because it is the most easily accessible pulse in the body.

A pulse may be felt easily at the femoral artery in the groin, the proximal artery just proximal to the knee, and the dorsalis pedis artery and the posterior tibial artery at the ankle.

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