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How do I check someone's pulse?

You can normally check a person's pulse by putting 2 fingers on a vein in their wrist (just underneath the thumb bone) or an artery in their neck (just underneath the jaw).

You can check a person's pulse by putting 2 fingers on the inside of their wrist or on their neck.

To measure the pulse in someone's wrist:

  • hold the person's arm so it's straight, with the palm of their hand facing upwards
  • place your index (first finger) and middle fingers on their wrist, at the base of their thumb
  • using a clock or watch that counts seconds, count how many beats you feel in a minute, or count them over 30 seconds and multiply the number by 2 to work how many beats a minute
  • if you can't find their pulse, try moving your fingers around a bit and pressing a little harder

To measure the pulse in someone's neck:

  • place your index and middle fingers on the side of their neck, in the soft hollow area just beside their windpipe
  • using a clock or watch that counts seconds, count how many beats you feel in a minute, or count them over 30 seconds and multiply the number by 2 to work how many beats a minute
  • if you can't find their pulse, try moving your fingers around a bit

A normal resting heart rate for an adult is 60 to 100 beats per minute. But this can vary, depending on things such as age, stress levels, fitness and any medication the person is taking.

Read the answers to more questions about accidents, first aid and treatments.

Further information:

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Your Neighbourhood Professionals. Just a Click Away! Counselling: why wait for a NHS appointment? Contact a private counsellor today Is your appearance affecting your confidence? Maybe a non-surgical procedure could help you. Give a local clinic a call today. Looking for residential or nursing care? Wanting a home from home? Then check out your local options and book a visit/tour today Need care but want to stay in your own home? Home Instead Senior Care Mona Diaz Therapies Helping Hands Exmouth Ltd
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