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How to take your pulse

From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Your pulse is your heart rate, or the number of times your heart beats in one minute. You can take your pulse using the radial artery in your wrist or the carotid artery in your neck.

Some medical conditions can be a factor in determining the best place for you to take your pulse. For example, if you have heart disease or longstanding diabetes, it's best to use the artery on your wrist.

General instructions for taking your pulse

To get an accurate pulse:

Take your pulse the same time each day.

Sit down and rest several minutes before taking your pulse.

 

Count your pulse for a full 60 seconds unless told otherwise by your health care provider.

Taking your radial pulse

With your palm up, look at the area between your wrist bone and the tendon on the thumb side of your wrist. Your radial pulse can be taken on either wrist.

Use the tip of the index and third fingers of your other hand to feel the pulse in your radial artery between your wrist bone and the tendon on the thumb side of your wrist.

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