Grading of Pulses

The description of the amplitude of the pulse is most important. The following is the most widely accepted grading system:

0 Absent

1 Diminished

2 Normal

3 Increased

4 Bounding

Figure 15-11 Technique for palpation of the popliteal artery. A, Correct position of the hands from the front. B, View from behind the popliteal fossa.

Figure 15-11 Technique for palpation of the popliteal artery. A, Correct position of the hands from the front. B, View from behind the popliteal fossa.

Figure 15-12 Technique for palpation of the dorsalis pedis arteries.

It is important that the patient's socks or stockings be removed when the examiner assesses the peripheral pulses of the lower extremities. If there is confusion about whether you are feeling the patient's pulse or your own pulse, you can palpate the patient's pulse with your right hand and use your left hand to palpate your own right radial pulse. If the pulses are different, you are feeling the patient's pulse with your right hand.

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