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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Tests and Exams > Pulse Rate

Pulse Rate

Alternate Names : Heart Rate

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Results and Values

The pulse rate is the number of times a person's heart beats in one minute.

Who is a candidate for the test?

The pulse rate can give important information about overall health and fitness. It is measured as part of a physical exam. Whenever a person has an appointment with a healthcare provider, the pulse rate is measured routinely.

How is the test performed?

This test can be performed by anyone. It is done by putting pressure on any artery in which pulsations can be felt. An artery on the thumb side of the wrist is commonly used to feel the pulse. Pulses can also be felt behind the knee, on top of the foot, or in the neck, temple, or groin. The number of pulsations that occur in one minute is the pulse rate. This is usually equal to the heart rate, unless the heart has certain rare electrical or mechanical problems.


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Pulse Rate: Preparation & Expectations

Author: Adam Brochert, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 09/04/01

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