Had a patient who had a revascularization and we were Doppling the pulses.
Long story short, the patient was perfusing. The surgeon came in the next morning and said that one of the pulses we were getting was "arterial" and one (the pedal) was "venous".
I thought he was putting me on.
I always thought that any pulse that's Doppled via the little handheld machine on the floor, is an arterial one. I was taught that veins don't have pulses, therefore the sound had to be arterial.
I tried to get him to tell me more, but he didn't, so now I'm coming to you experts.
First, is there such a thing as a "venous" or an "arterial" pulse, and if so, what's the significance of each?
I need to stress that I am not talking about the ultrasounds of the veins or arteries; I'm talking about the little handheld machine like this:
Well, we now have a raging debate going on at work over this.
The surgeon made it sound like the venous noise was actually pulsation, and I definitely heard pulsating whooshes, just not quite as snappy as in other areas of the foot.
I think we nurses are hung up on the premise that veins don't pulse, and how could even a venous flow be a bad thing (not that this was said outright, but it was implied by the doc that the "venous" sound at the dorsalis pedis was not optimal). My premise was that you could not have "venous" movement without an arterial pulse somewhere. After all, what propels the blood if there is no arterial movement?
Last edit by Angie O'Plasty, RN on Mar 5, '06