types of arterial pulse

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • carotid pulse:
    • incline the head to relax sternomastoid on the palpated side
    • feel medial to sternomastoid and lateral to the upper trachea or lower larynx
    • the laryngeal prominence may be used as a landmark; palpate lateral to this
    • never palpate bilaterally
  • brachial pulse - a third of the way over from the medial condyle
  • radial pulse - medial to the radius
  • femoral pulse - below inguinal ligament; a third of the way up from pubic tubercle
  • popliteal pulse - with knee flexed at right angles palpate deep in the midline
  • posterior tibial pulse - 1cm behind medial malleolus
  • dorsalis pedis pulse - variable on dorsum, just lateral to tendons to big toe