How to find your brachial pulse

Written by cynthia measom
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When your heart pumps, blood surges through your arteries. This is known as a pulse. When taking your pulse, there are various sites on the body that can be used such as the neck, wrist, behind the knee or on the inside of the elbow (brachial). Some sites are better than others, depending on your purpose. For instance, the brachial pulse is most often used when taking blood pressure or when assessing the pulse of small children or infants. As long as you understand where it is located, finding a brachial pulse should be relatively simple.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

    Method 1

  1. 1

    Turn the subject's right palm up with the arm slightly bent at the elbow. Allow the subject to rest his arm on a flat surface, if available.

  2. 2

    Place the first two fingers of your hand on the inner third of the elbow crease. Your fingers should be closest to the subject's body.

  3. 3

    Press firmly and hold for approximately five seconds while taking the pulse.

    Method 2

  1. 1

    Turn the subject's right palm up with the arm slightly bent at the elbow. Allow the subject to rest his arm on a flat surface, if available.

  2. 2

    Place the first two fingers of your hand in the centre of the subject's bicep, and slide them down, at an angle, to the inner elbow crease area. Your fingers should be located next to the subject's body.

  3. 3

    Press firmly and hold for approximately five seconds while taking the pulse.

Tips and warnings

  • Never use your thumb to check a pulse, because your thumb has a pulse rate of its own.

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