How to Measure a Pulse

There are multiple times when you need to measure and evaluate someone’s pulse, and sometimes it’s vital to know what is normal and what you should look for. There are three main places to measure someone’s pulse:


Carotid Pulse: The Carotid pulse is found by placing to fingers on either side of the windpipe on the neck. You should be able to find the Carotid artery easily as the pulse there is strong. Always use two or three fingers, never your thumb, because your thumb has  a pulse of its own.


Radial Pulse: The Radial pulse is found in the wrist. You can find it by placing two fingers on the small indentation beside the tendon leading to the wrist. You will likely see your nurse take your pulse here.


Brachial Pulse: The Brachial pulse is used only in infants, where their pulse is too weak in the carotid and radial arteries. To measure the Brachial pulse, place to fingers on the inside of the infant’s upper arm.

How to Measure a Pulse: 

Measure a pulse by counting each beat while watching your watch. Count the beats for one minute, the number of beats you counted is the pulse. You don’t have to start at the very beginning of a minute.

While checking  a pulse, you want to check:

Rate: How many beats does the heart make per minute?

Strength: Is the pulse weak, strong, or normal?

Rhythm: Is the pulse bounding, thready, or regular?

All of this information is important in pointing out less obvious causes of illness or injury, and it’s an easy way to help out in an emergency while waiting for EMS to arrive.

6 thoughts on “How to Measure a Pulse”

  1. I’m reporting you.

    . . .Just keep doing mouth to mouth. You can’t do chest compressions, obviously. . .but maybe you can just do them midair? His spirit is sure to be there somewhere. Just make him swallow it again like in Harry Potter. Then he can be like on of those floating heads in Futurama.

    1. Hmm. If I can find a way to harness his psychic abilities, then I only need to nourish the head and not all that redundant food processing and waste management junk. I can then channel it into powering a sword or other weapon with which to smite my enemies, once I get some enemies worth smiting.

      Do you know any spells to bind the spirit into the head? I mean, sure, Elijah obviously did it in 1 Kings 17:21, but I’m not sure about his methods there.

      1. . . .Redundant. Wouldn’t it be better not to have enemies at all, and to use his psychic powers for promotion of world peace or making teenage girls less annoying or making my 6’2” friend less tall?

        You can just do what Edward from FMA did and use alchemy. But you have to give up a large portion of your body to do that. All that equivelant exchange nonsense.

  2. I spammed so slowly you thought I was a commenter!

    I have the head. What I don’t have is the body. It’s looking a lot worse now and the stink has gotten on my clothes, so I don’t think running is an option. Mouth-to-mouth doesn’t work, it just makes a weird flappy-buzzing noise at the neck. I still can’t find a pulse.

  3. You commented so fast I thought you were a spammer.

    If there’s no head, your best bet is to run and claim you know nothing of the incident.

  4. I am having difficulty finding the carotid pulse on a decapitation victim. Do you have any tips? I’ve only found the head, not the body.

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