What is a pulse?

When you feel your
own pulse, you’re
feeling the direct
transmission of your
heartbeat down an
artery. You can feel a
pulse where you can
compress an artery
against a bone, eg
the radial artery at
the wrist. The
carotid artery can be
felt against the
vertebral body, but
beware: a) press too
hard and you can
faint, b) press both at
the same time and
you’ll cut off the
blood to your brain
and, as a protective
mechanism, you’ll
defi nitely faint!

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