2 Ways to Verify an Apical Pulse

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 - Tips

Apical pulse is a pulse that comes from the activity of the apex of the heart. The apex which is located at the bottom left of heart gives out a pulse through cardiac function. The apical pulse can be heard when the cardiac system is properly performed. If you want to listen to the apical pulse, you have to hear to it using the stethoscope. However, there are many ways to verify an apical pulse.

There are two ways to check an apical pulse. First of all, we have to understand how the cardiac function works. Cardiac function is the ability of the heart to pump blood out of the heart and to the body. This feature of cardiac is measured by listening to the apical pulse. So, the measurement to determine the work of your body’s cardiac system is apical pulse when the valves in the heart open and close. These are the methods used in taking the apical pulse.

– Using Stethoscope

You can listen to apical pulse by using the stethoscope. This process requires a clean and sterile stethoscope because it will make direct contact with patients’ skin. Then, place the patients in a sitting or supine position. You need to make the chest and left side accessible for the stethoscope. Now, use your fingers to locate the apical pulse. Remember that the pulse is located on the left chest. To make it easier, find the strongest pulse. As one of the ways to verify an apical pulse, this method requires you to place the stethoscope at the 4.5 to 5th left intercostal space and then count the beats for maximum 30 seconds. After collecting the total beats in 30 seconds, you need to multiply it by 2. The procedure has finished. It’s time for you to clean up the equipment and record the important details. Those details are the strength, the rhythm and the rate of the pulse.

– The Hand Method

The difference between this second method and the stethoscope is seen on the equipment used during the process. By using this approach, you only need to prepare your index, middle and ring finger to take the apical pulse. The rest of the procedure is similar to using the stethoscope, only that you feel the pulse rather than listen to it.

Those are two ways to verify an apical pulse. The first one is the most common procedure to take the apical pulse, while the second one is not so commonly used, although taught in medical schools. Furthermore, an apical pulse has two different kinds: the regular and irregular pulse.

Assessing apical pulse rate

One of many ways to verify an apical pulse is to count the three essential aspects of recording apical pulse: strength, rhythm, and rate. A pulse can tell you so much about the patients’ health conditions such as an abnormally irregular pulse might be a signal for a failure of heart functions like bradycardia, which is a pulse rate slower than 60 beats per minute that shows a decreasing thyroid activity or tachycardia, which is a pulse rate faster than 100 beats per minute that shows a congestive heart failure of CHF.