How to Palpate the Femoral Artery

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If your physician has instructed you to palpate your femoral artery, you can perform this simple procedure at home. This may be done to check for regular blood flow to the legs or simply to measure your pulse.

  • Find the femoral artery. It is a large artery that begins in the abdomen and runs through the thigh. The best place to feel the pulse of the femoral artery is in the groin, about four finger widths to the right or left of the genitals.

  • Place two fingers on the skin where you feel the pulse of the femoral artery.

  • Feel for a steady, rhythmic pulse. If the pulse is arrhythmic or very weak, there may be a vascular condition that requires medical care. If this is the case, contact your physician.

  • To record the pulse, count the number of beats in 30 seconds. Then multiply this number by two; this is your heart's BPM or beats per minute.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are palpating the femoral artery of someone other than yourself, wash your hands thoroughly and wear gloves to prevent spreading of any infections.

References

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