What is the significance of detection of pulse in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Catharine A Bon, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
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Although the guideline recommends that dispatchers ask only about responsiveness and breathing, cardiac arrest is defined physiologically by the lack of a detectable pulse. For example, a person who is post ictal may be unresponsive and have abnormal breathing, yet have a completely normal heart and normal pulse. Therefore, one should consider simultaneous detection of pulse if possible.

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