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Mil Med. 1991 Apr;156(4):190-3.

Determining the pulse for infant CPR: time for a change?

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943rd Tactical Clinic, March Air Force Base, CA 92518-5000.


The accepted standard for determining cardiac arrest in infants is the use of palpation of the brachial pulse to detect pulselessness. The investigators have observed that CPR-certified individuals have difficulty locating the brachial pulse in infants. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if a more effective way exists for assessing the pulse in an infant. Of the 102 subjects tested, 84 correctly assessed the apical pulse by placing a naked ear against the chest wall, whereas only 48 correctly palpated the brachial pulse. The study results demonstrated that there was a statistically significant (p less than 0.001) difference between the two methods for assessing pulses in infants. This indicates that the apical pulse method is a faster and more accurate method for locating the pulse in an infant, and should be used during cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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