Two ways to take your pulse to see if you are in atrial fibrillation

7 Dec

Two ways to take your pulse to see if you are in atrial fibrillation

If you want to know if you are in atrial fibrillation, there are two simple ways to take your pulse. The first way I will describe is by locating your radial artery on the bottom of your wrist. Steps to do this:
1) Turn your left hand palm-up
2) Take your index and middle fingers of your right hand and place them on your wrist about an inch (2.5cm) below the base of your thumb
3) You may need to relocate your fingers to the exact spot where you feel the thump of your pulse
4) Count the number of beats for 15 seconds, then multiply this number by 4 to get your beats per minute.

The other location where your pules is quite simple to detect is on the side of your neck. If you locate your Adams apple or windpipe, you will feel a small hallow channel next to this structure on either side of your throat and neck. If you slide your fingers up towards your jaw bone, you will feel your carotid pulse. Repeat the step 4 above once you've located the pulse in your neck.

The National Institute of Health recommends the following ranges to be considered normal:
Newborns up to 1 month old: 70 to 190 bpm (beats per minute)
Infants 1 t- 11 months old: 80 to 160 bpm
Children 1 t- 2 years old: 80 to 130 bpm
Children 3 t- 4 years old: 80 to 120 bpm
Children 5 t- 6 years old: 75 to 115 bpm
Children 7 t- 9 years old: 70 to 110 bpm
Children 10 years and older, as well as adults (including those 65+): 60 to 100 bpm
Well-trained athletes: 40 to 60 bpm, in fact some well-trained athletes are below 40

If you feel a fast or irregular pulse, it is advised you seek medical attention. A normal pulse is uniform or consistent thump, thump with the same amount of time between each "thump."

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