Brachial Pulse


Forum Crew Member
Hi, this is my first post on EMTLife. Right now I'm taking an EMT-B cert course, but I'm having trouble actually finding the brachial pulse. I've tried doing it where you go half an inch above the crease in the elbow but I still can't find anything. Do y'all have any suggestions?


Forum Asst. Chief
Are you just using your own arms, or are you trying it on others?
If you aren't trying it on others, try that. However if you are using others and you still can't find it than you either are pressing to hard, to soft, or not in the right place at all.

If you are trying to find the brachial for a BP, than I usually go right on, or slightly above the crease of your elbow and use my steth for that because it's usually to weak to palpate. (I can get it on myself right now, but its weak compared to above picture.)

Hope this helps, oh and welcome to EMTLife!! ;)


Forum Deputy Chief
If you feel the curve of the bicep there is an indentation where the muscle ends that runs laterally along the upper arm. You can feel a big valley where two masses of muscle meet. Push in that crease until you feel the pulse. Most people with difficulty finding it are not pressing hard enough into the crease.


Kip Teitsort, Founder
One more thing................. (others have done a great job above)

For a lot of people this is difficult in the beginning. One thing you can do to make locating it a little easier (on yourself) or in a non-trauma patient......

Fully extend the arm you are trying to palpate it on. Remember you feel a pulse because you are usually compressing it onto bone. So the extension make is a little easier.

Until you are seasoned........ you really need to "feel it" before you can "hear it".

Good luck.
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Forum Chief
Their ways are great. The Sasha way is feelin up on their arm til you feel a BOOM BOOM. Dont use your thumb, or youll feel the BOOM BOOM everywhere :p

Oooh Oooh. A story about the use of the thumb. It was my first externship ride, and no one in class had told me not to use the thumb to take a pulse, so im taking all the pulses on the calls, and im like YES! IM GREAT AT THIS! and the medic started to notice all the pulses were within 1 or 2 bpm of eachother. Odd, considering at the time I had a resting HR of 52. So he took his own pulse, and the pulse of several people at the station and then had me take them to compare. Then he informed me you arent supposed to use your thumb. :D
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