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  • Heart rate

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    Heart rate is the speed of the heartbeat measured by the number of contractions (beats) of the heart per minute (bpm). The heart rate can vary according to the body's physical needs, including the need to absorb oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide. It is usually equal or close to the pulse measured at any peripheral point. Activities that can provoke change include physical exercise, sleep, anxiety, stress, illness, and ingestion of drugs. The American Heart Association states the normal resting adult human heart rate is 60–100 bpm. Tachycardia is a fast heart rate, defined as above 100 bpm at rest. Bradycardia is a slow heart rate, defined as below 60 bpm at rest. During sleep a slow heartbeat with rates around 40–50 bpm is common and is considered normal. When the heart is not beating in a regular pattern, this is referred to as an arrhythmia. Abnormalities of heart rate sometimes indicate disease.

  • Pulse

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    Pulse evaluation at the radial artery. Recommended points to evaluate pulse In medicine, a pulse represents the tactile arterial palpation of the heartbeat by trained fingertips. The pulse may be palpated in any place that allows an artery to be compressed near the surface of the body, such as at the neck (carotid artery), wrist (radial artery), at the groin (femoral artery), behind the knee (popliteal artery), near the ankle joint (posterior tibial artery), and on foot (dorsalis pedis artery). Pulse (or the count of arterial pulse per minute) is equivalent to measuring the heart rate. The heart rate can also be measured by listening to the heart beat by auscultation, traditionally using a stethoscope and counting it for a minute. The radial pulse is commonly measured using three fingers. This has a reason: the finger closest to the heart is used to occlude the pulse pressure, the middle finger is used get a crude estimate of the blood pressure, and the finger most distal to the heart (usually the ring finger) is used to nullify the effect of the ulnar pulse as the two arteries are connected via the palmar arches (superficial and deep).

  • Pulse pressure

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    Pulse pressure is the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). It represents the force that the heart generates each time it contracts. For example, if resting blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg, then the pulse pressure is 40 mmHg.

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