How will you assess the radial pulse?
Radial pulse is felt by light compression of the radial artery over the lower end of radius, in front of the wrist. It should be counted for at least 30 seconds. The wrist should be relaxed to get a good pulse. Sometimes the radial artery may be aberrant and felt in the anatomical snuff box, on the lateral aspect of the wrist, just distal to the radius. It is mandatory to check there before concluding that the radial pulse is absent. Radial pulse is assessed further by a method known as trisection or Osler’s maneuver (compression using three fingers). Compression by the first and last fingers occludes flow from radial artery and retrograde flow from ulnar artery through palmar arch. This helps us to assess the vessel wall thickness, which is done by the middle finger.