What is the apical pulse?
The apical pulse, also known as the precordial impulse, is a site on the chest where you can feel the heartbeat. The apical pulse can provide information about heart rate, rhythm, size, and location.
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What equipment is used to measure the apical pulse?
A stethoscope is used to measure the apical pulse. A clock or wristwatch with seconds is also needed. The apical pulse is best assessed when you are either sitting or lying down. Your doctor will use a series of “landmarks” on your body to identify what’s called the point of maximal impulse (PMI). These landmarks include:
What factors affect the apical pulse?
The heart rate varies in response to physical, environmental, and emotional triggers. Some factors that may affect the apical pulse include: A person’s pulse increases during moderate-to-intense physical activity. The reason for this is that the heart must work harder to pump oxygenated blood around the body.
How do you auscultate apical pulse?
Typically, apical pulse rate is taken for a full minute to ensure accuracy; this is particularly important in infants and children due to the possible presence of sinus arrhythmia. Upon auscultating the apical pulse, you will hear the sounds “lub dup” – this counts as one beat. Count the apical pulse for one minute. Note the rate and rhythm.
How do you calculate apical pulse deficit?
Count the number of lub-dubs that occur within a 30-second period, then multiply the total by two to determine the heart rate per minute. If a person has an irregular apical pulse, their doctor may order an apical-radial pulse deficit assessment. This test requires two healthcare professionals.
What can affect an apical pulse reading?
There are a few things that can affect an apical pulse and cause irregular readings. Fear and anxiety, a fever, recent physical activity, pain, hypotension, blood loss, and insufficient oxygen intake can all affect an apical pulse measurement.