rapid pulse


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Related to rapid pulse: Rapid heart rate

pulse

(puls) [L. pulsus, beating]
1. Rate, rhythm, condition of arterial walls, compressibility and tension, and size and shape of the fluid wave of blood traveling through the arteries as a result of each heartbeat.
2. Rhythmical throbbing.
Enlarge picture
PULSES
3. Throbbing caused by the regular contraction and alternate expansion of an artery as the wave of blood passes through the vessel; the periodic thrust felt over arteries in time with the heartbeat. See: illustration

A tracing of this is called a sphygmogram and consists of a series of waves in which the upstroke is called the anacrotic limb, and the downstroke (on which is normally seen the dicrotic notch), the catacrotic limb.

The normal resting pulse in adults is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. The resting pulse is faster, for example, in febrile patients, anemic or hypovolemic persons, persons in shock, and patients who have taken drugs that stimulate the heart, such as theophylline, caffeine, nicotine, or cocaine. It may be slower in well-trained athletes; in patients using beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, or other agents; and during sleep or deep relaxation.

Patient care

In patients complaining of chest pain, pulses should be assessed in at least two extremities (e.g., both radial arteries). A strong pulse on the right side with a weak one on the left may suggest an aortic dissection or a stenosis of the left subclavian artery. Young patients with high blood pressure should have pulses assessed simultaneously at the radial and femoral artery because a significant delay in the femoral pulse may suggest coarctation of the aorta. Patients with recent symptoms of stroke or claudication should have pulses checked at the carotid, radial, femoral, popliteal, and posterior tibial arteries, to see whether any palpable evidence of arterial insufficiency exists at any of these locations. If a decreased pulse is detected, further evaluation might include ultrasonography or assessments of the ankle brachial index. Patients who are lightheaded or dizzy or who notice palpitations may have detectable premature beats or other pulse irregularities (e.g., the irregularly irregular pulse of atrial fibrillation).

abdominal pulse

A palpable pulse felt between the xiphoid process and the navel. This is produced by the pulse of the abdominal aorta.

alternating pulse

A pulse with alternating weak and strong pulsations.
Synonym: pulsus alternans

anacrotic pulse

A pulse showing a secondary wave on the ascending limb of the main wave.

anadicrotic pulse

A pulse wave with two small notches on the ascending portion.

apical pulse

A pulse felt or heard over the part of the chest wall that lies over the apex of the heart. In healthy people this is roughly located at the left mid-clavicular line in the fourth intercostal space.
See: Pulse: Apical

asymmetrical radial pulse

Unequal pulse.

basal pulse

Resting pulse.

bigeminal pulse

A pulse in which two regular beats are followed by a longer pause.
Synonym: coupled pulse

bisferiens pulse

A pulse marked by two systolic peaks on the pulse waveform. It is characteristic of aortic regurgitation (with or without aortic stenosis) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

bounding pulse

A pulse that reaches a higher intensity than normal, then disappears quickly. Best detected when the arm is held aloft.
Synonym: collapsing pulse

brachial pulse

A pulse felt in the brachial artery.
See: Pulse: Brachial

capillary pulse

Visible inflow and outflow of blood from the nailbed. It is a finding in patients with aortic regurgitation when their fingernails or toenails are gently depressed by the examiner's finger. Synonym: Quincke's pulse

carotid pulse

A pulse felt in the carotid artery.
See: Pulse: Carotid

catacrotic pulse

A pulse showing one or more secondary waves on the descending limb of the main wave.

catadicrotic pulse

A pulse wave with two small notches on the descending portion.

central pulse

A pulse recorded near the origin of the carotid or subclavian arteries.

collapsing pulse

Bounding pulse.

Corrigan's pulse

See: waterhammer pulse

coupled pulse

Bigeminal pulse.

dicrotic pulse

A pulse with a double beat, one heartbeat for two arterial pulsations, or a seemingly weak wave between the usual heartbeats. This weak wave should not be counted as a regular beat. It is indicative of low arterial tension and is noted in fevers.

dorsalis pedis pulse

A pulse felt over the dorsalis pedis artery of the foot.
See: Pulse: Dorsalis Pedis

entoptic pulse

Intermittent subjective sensations of light that accompany the heartbeat.

femoral pulse

A pulse felt over the femoral artery.
See: Pulse: Femoral

filiform pulse

Thready pulse.

hepatic pulse

A pulse due to expansion of veins of the liver at each ventricular contraction.

intermediate pulse

A pulse recorded in the proximal portions of the carotid, femoral, and brachial arteries.

intermittent pulse

A pulse in which occasional beats are skipped, caused by conditions such as premature atrial contractions, premature ventricular contractions, and atrial fibrillation. Synonym: irregular pulse

irregular pulse

Intermittent pulse.

irregularly irregular pulse

The erratic, unpredictable pulse present in atrial fibrillation.

jugular pulse

A venous pulse felt in the jugular vein.

Kussmaul's pulse

See: Kussmaul, Adolph

monocrotic pulse

A pulse in which the sphygmogram shows a simple ascending and descending uninterrupted line and no dicrotism.

nail pulse

A visible pulsation in the capillaries under the nails.

paradoxical pulse

A decrease in the strength of the pulse (and of systolic blood pressure) during inspiration, a condition that may be esp. prominent in severe asthma, cardiac tamponade, obstructive sleep apnea, croup, and other conditions that alter pressure relationships within the chest.
Synonym: Kussmaul's pulse; pulsus paradoxus

pulse parvus

Pulsus parvus et tardus.

peripheral pulse

A pulse recorded in the arteries (radial or pedal) in the distal portion of the limbs.

pistol-shot pulse

A pulse resulting from rapid distention and collapse of an artery as occurs in aortic regurgitation.

plateau pulse

A pulse associated with an increase in pressure that slowly rises but is maintained.

popliteal pulse

A pulse felt over the popliteal artery.
See: Pulse: Popliteal

Quincke's pulse

See: capillary pulse

radial pulse

A pulse felt over the radial artery.
See: Pulse: Radial

rapid pulse

Tachycardia.

regular pulse

A pulse felt when the force and frequency are the same (i.e., when the length of beat and number of beats per minute and the strength are the same).

respiratory pulse

Alternate dilatation and contraction of the large veins of the neck occurring simultaneously with inspiration and expiration.

resting pulse

A pulse rate obtained while an individual is at rest and calm.
Synonym: basal pulse

retrosternal pulse

A venous pulse felt over the suprasternal notch.

Riegel's pulse

See: Riegel's pulse

running pulse

A weak, rapid pulse with one wave continuing into the next.

short pulse

A pulse with a short, quick systolic wave.

slow pulse

A pulse rate that is less than 60 beats per minute.

small pulse

See: pulsus parvus et tardus

soft pulse

A pulse that may be stopped by moderate digital compression.

tense pulse

A full but not bounding pulse.

thready pulse

A fine, scarcely perceptible pulse. Synonym: filiform pulse

tremulous pulse

A pulse in which a series of oscillations is felt with each beat.

tricrotic pulse

A pulse with three separate expansions during each heartbeat.

trigeminal pulse

A pulse with a longer or shorter interval after each three beats because the third beat is an extrasystole.

triphammer pulse

Waterhammer pulse.

undulating pulse

A pulse that seems to have several successive waves.

unequal pulse

A pulse in which beats vary in force. Synonym: asymmetrical radial pulse

vagus pulse

A slow pulse resulting from parasympathetic influence on heart rate, mediated by the vagus nerve.

venous pulse

A pulse in a vein, esp. one of the large veins near the heart, such as the internal or external jugular. Normally it is undulating and scarcely palpable. In conditions such as tricuspid regurgitation, it is pronounced.

vermicular pulse

A small, frequent pulse with a wormlike feeling.

waterhammer pulse

A pulse with a powerful upstroke and then sudden disappearance; a hallmark of aortic regurgitation.
Synonym: triphammer pulse; Corrigan's pulse

wiry pulse

A tense pulse that feels like a wire or firm cord.
References in periodicals archive ?
Heat stroke symptoms generically include rash and inflammation of red skin tone due to lack of sweat and a rapid pulse. A throbbing headache, flushed skin, hysteria when outdoors, dizziness, extreme exhaustion and a temperature over 103 degrees are all similar to symptoms of heat severing your body.
Rapid heart rhythms may cause no symptoms or complications other than a rapid pulse, but they may raise the risk of stroke, cardiac arrest and even sudden cardiac death.
Operation options include several modes for the green laser (steady-on, pulse, rapid pulse, etc.) and for the light (high, low, lower and strobe), all controlled by two on/off buttons.
Physical symptoms of heat stroke include a body temperature of 105 degrees or above; absence of sweating; hot, red skin; rapid, shallow breathing; and a weak, rapid pulse. Because the brain is affected by elevated body temperatures, heat stroke also brings about alterations in mental status.
The top selector button allows you to choose between five laser modes: constant beam, low-speed pulse, medium-speed pulse, rapid pulse and off.
She was in great pain, with a rapid pulse and high fever.
Secondary signs & symptoms: Thirst with a desire for chilled drinks, polyphagia, easy hunger, reddish urine, constipation, a red tongue with scanty, possibly yellow fur, and a bowstring, fine or fine, slippery, rapid pulse
"Syncope, dyspnea, rapid pulse, risk factors such as immobilization--please think PE," he said.
WARNING SIGNS: HEADACHE, DIZZINESS, RED FACE/SKIN, HOT, DRY SKIN, STRONG, RAPID PULSE, HIGH BODY TEMPERATURE
For example, a person who has gone into shock after an accident or becoming ill will often have a very rapid pulse of 100 or 120 beats per minute.
They said she had a murmur and a rapid pulse so she has to have a blood test and wait a couple of weeks for the result.
Signs include a rapid pulse, low blood pressure, a significant leucocytosis, and hemoconcentration.

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