Palpate the Femoral Pulse

The femoral pulse is evaluated with the patient lying on the back and the examiner at the patient's right side. The lateral corners of the pubic hair triangle are observed and palpated. The femoral artery should run obliquely through the corner of the pubic hair triangle inferior to the inguinal ligament at a point midway between the pubic tubercle and the anterior superior iliac spine. Both femoral pulses may be compared simultaneously. The technique is demonstrated in Figure 15-9.

If one of the femoral pulses is diminished or absent, auscultation for a bruit is necessary. The diaphragm of the stethoscope is placed over the femoral artery. The presence of a bruit may indicate obstructive aortoiliofemoral disease.

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