Palpate the Brachial Pulse

Because the brachial pulse is stronger than the digital pulses, the examiner may use his or her thumbs to palpate the patient's brachial pulses. The brachial artery can be felt medially just under the belly or tendon of the biceps muscle. With the examiner still standing in front of the patient, both brachial arteries can be palpated simultaneously. The examiner's left hand holds the patient's right arm, and the examiner's right hand holds the patient's left arm. Once the examiner's thumbs feel the brachial pulsation, the examiner should apply progressive pressure to it until the maximal systolic force is felt. This is demonstrated in Figure 15-6. The examiner should now be able to assess its wave form.

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