MedSchool: Ace Your OSCEsThe Medical Company
GET - On the App Store
Deteriorating Patient

Pulse Rhythm

February 15th, 2021


Palpate the radial pulse for at least thirty seconds and determine whether the beats fall in time or are irregular.
  • Interpretation

  • Regular: sinus rhythm
  • Sinus arrhythmia: rhythmic variations in vagal tone with respiration
  • Regularly irregular (regular heart rate with occasional missed or extra beats): sinus arrhythmia, second degree heart block, premature ventricular contractions
  • Irregularly irregular: atrial fibrillation
  • Causes of Irregular Pulse

  • Sinus arrhythmia
  • Sinus arrest
  • Second or third degree sinoatrial exit block
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial flutter with variable block
  • Multifocal atrial tachycardia
  • Second or third degree atrioventricular block
  • Premature ventricular contractions
Next Page
Want more info like this?
  • Your electronic clinical medicine handbook
  • Guides to help pass your exams
  • Tools every medical student needs
  • Quick diagrams to have the answers, fast
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge
Sign Up Now

Snapshot: Initialising...