Question about pulse.

  1. I had a patient complaining about being able to feel her pulse in her abdomen. I did feel her pulse when I laid my finger on her abdomen. It was concerning to the patient but the doctor did not seem concerned and said nothing. I know that pregnant women do have an increased blood volume so could that have been it? Have you had this situation with a patient and how were you able to reassure them that it was fine?
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    Joined: May '05; Posts: 239; Likes: 58


  3. by   Halinja
    You have a major artery (abdominal aorta) running through the abdomen. Sometimes when people are lying on their back you can see their pulse, depending on how thin or not they are.
  4. by   eden
    Well that's what I thought but it had her really freaked out and the doctor saying nothing didn't help calm her nerves.
  5. by   Jolie
    I would be curious as to whether there is a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm. I am a thin person, and can sometimes see and feel a pulse in my abdomen. This, however, freaked my physician out when she observed it, since my father nearly died of a ruptured AAA, and my physician was not aware that this visible and palpable pulse was normal for me.

    The doctor is probably right that it is nothing to worry about, but if it is a NEW symptom for the patient, it might well be worth an U/S to check things out!
  6. by   eden
    Well it occurred to me to look it up in my general assessment book after asking on here. It did say that if someone has very relaxed abdominal wall muscles you could certainly feel an aortic pulse and even see it if you look closely. Pregnancy would certainly relax those muscles so at least I will have something more concrete to tell her tomorrow if she is still concerned.
  7. by   tinyscrafts
    lol. i remember laying in the tub, belly sticking out, with water in my belly button (what was left of it). I could see my pulse shaking the puddle with every beat LOL. I thought it was funny/weird, never thought of it being dangerous!
  8. by   KellNY
    It's not so much the relaxation of those muscles, but the separation that occurs in pregnancy.