Vital signs are the indicators that give us an approximate idea of how the real organs of our body are and what our physiological state is. With its measurement, we can immediately know what changes in the body’s functions have occurred, guiding us on the alterations and the general state of health. These vital signs, measured systematically by health professionals, are four; body temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and pulse.
Each reflects how the brain, lungs, and heart carries out their functions, alerting us to possible health problems. The latter is done through the pulse, the pulsation that causes the heartbeat in the arteries. Do you want to know more about the vibration? Do you want to see the Definition of pulse deficit? In the following FastlyHealarticle we will explain it to you.
What is pulse
On a medical level, the pulse is the pulsation of the arteries caused by the heart’s beating. The vibration can be felt mainly in the neck and wrists, although it can also be felt in other body parts.
Contrary to what many people believe, the pulse is not caused by the passage of blood through the arteries but is due to the expansion of the aorta when the heart contracts and expels the blood. Incorrectly, the heartbeat is often called a pulse, and although in most people the pulse is a correct measure of heart rate, this is not always the case. In some instances, such as arrhythmias, the heartbeat does not have the necessary effectiveness, so the aorta does not expand enough to create a real beat. If the heart pulse were taken, it would be much lower than the actual heartbeat rate.
Normal arterial pulse values
In a healthy adult, the average values of the arterial pulse move between 60 and 100 beats per minute while awake; while sleeping, these can drop to 40. If you practice high-intensity exercise, the heart rate can rise to 220. Young people usually have much higher heart rates than older people; for example, in the case of babies, their arterial pulse at rest can be as high as that of adults during high intensity exercise.
But the speed of the pulse is not the only indication that it gives us, and that must be taken into account; the rhythm, the shape of the wave, or the amplitude of this are other qualities that the professional will know how to take into account as a reflection of cardiovascular health.
What is pulse deficit?
As you have read before, there are cases in which the arterial pulse and the heart rate do not coincide; in these cases, the procedure to follow is to determine the heart rate by listening to the cardiac apex and, simultaneously, ordinarily measure the arterial pulse. The pulse deficit is the difference between one result and the other, between the heart rate and pulsations in the periphery.
How to feel for the pulse
The pulse is usually taken manually, using the middle finger and the index finger. Please do not do it with the thumb, as it already has its pulse and would interfere with the measurement. The correct way is to place these fingers close to the artery, pressing gently against a firm structure, such as a bone, and carefully counting the pulse.
Depending on the patient, there will be more or fewer facilities to determine the pulse and even to notice it; the vibration can be felt through the brachial, radial, or carotid artery, the latter being the easiest to palpate. Usually, the absence of a pulse in the carotid is understood as an indicator of the death of that person since it is extraordinarily possible to survive with such a low systolic pressure. However, there have been cases of fully conscious people without a palpable pulse.
Is your heartbeat powerful? You want to know why it gives you back your heart? , and we invite you to read the following articles from FastlyHealso that you can find the answers.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.