What Does Your Pulse Tell Your Doctor?

A doctor takes your pulse by squeezing a blood vessel in your wrist and counting the number of beats, or pulses, he feels in one minute. But the pulse rate can be taken by feeling the beats in many other parts of your body too.

Each time your heart beats, it sends a pulsation through your arteries, vessels carrying blood. This pulsation, your pulse, indicates how often your heart is beating, and that information can show the doctor how strong your heart is and many other things about your body in general.

A healthy person has a pulse rate of about 75 beats per minute. Smaller creatures need a higher pulse rate because they lose more heat through their bodies than larger creatures.

A small bird may have a pulse rate of almost 200 beats per minute, while an elephant has a rate of only about 25 beats per minute!