Brachial and Popliteal Pulse

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    Hi. I need help with finding the brachial and popliteal pulse. I am able to locate the pedal, carotid, temporal, radial, etc., but am finding it near impossible to find the brachial and popliteal. The brachial after a few hundred trys it seems, I can find it and then I lose it. If anyone has any advice or knows a site to direct me to, I would very much appreciate the help. I have a clinical lab testing on this next week, and am in panic mode.
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    Brachial is palpated along the bone, medially, also antecubital same side as little finger.
    Popliteal is best if you use both hands and palpate with both sets of fingers, I think that one is hardest. does this help?
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    Quote from jmgrn65
    Brachial is palpated along the bone, medially, also antecubital same side as little finger.
    Popliteal is best if you use both hands and palpate with both sets of fingers, I think that one is hardest. does this help?
    For the Brachial try walking you fingers from the outside in (pinky side inward) slowly using the "crease" in the antecubital area as a reference. You also need to use a bit more pressure palpating than you would for the radial, temporal, etc.

    The popliteal is best palpated with the patient prone (face down on stomach) and the knee flexed, again use the "crease" inside the knee as a reference and walk your fingers slowly from the outside in. You also need more pressure palpating for this artery. I agree, this can be the hardest pulse to find. Practice on someone willing to lay prone until you find it. Then practice with them on their back with the knee slightly flexed (hey, what are friends for ). In hospital, most patients will not lay prone so you can assess their popliteal, even though this is how it can best be palpated.

    Hope this helps
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    Thank you so much. This is wonderful information. It turns out I can feel the brachial on others, but not on myself. Even my instructor could not find mine. This made me feel a great deal better. I really appreciate the information on the popliteal. I am going to try that technique, and see if I can actually feel one. Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
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    Quote from Couch30
    Thank you so much. This is wonderful information. It turns out I can feel the brachial on others, but not on myself. Even my instructor could not find mine. This made me feel a great deal better. I really appreciate the information on the popliteal. I am going to try that technique, and see if I can actually feel one. Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
    You know Couch, I think after you find it (and you will), you won't feel so stressed about it. You aren't the only nursing student who has had some difficulty with skills, I had the hardest time with BPs when I first was taught, but once I successfully heard those Korotkoff sounds the first time...WoW I knew I had it.

    Best to you
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    I have a really hard time finding pedal pulses. I have only had one patient where I could actually find it right away and she questioned me because she said noone can ever find hers...but it was right there first try. Any suggestion? I can not even find my own. Thanks for the help.
  9. 0
    Quote from vlsgrl
    I have a really hard time finding pedal pulses. I have only had one patient where I could actually find it right away and she questioned me because she said noone can ever find hers...but it was right there first try. Any suggestion? I can not even find my own. Thanks for the help.
    The pedal pulse should be between the extension tendons of the great(1st toe) and 2nd toe, flex that great toe and see if you can see the tendon. Follow the tendon about mid foot, place your finger tips on top of the tendon with the tips towards the 2nd toe, follow upwards. I actually have strong pedal pulses that are easy to palpate.
    Last edit by DusktilDawn on Oct 5, '05


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