Weak pulse; Absent pulse
A weak pulse means you have difficulty feeling a person's pulse (heartbeat). An absent pulse means you cannot detect a pulse at all.
See also: CPR
An absent or weak pulse may affect all or one part of the body.
If a pulse cannot be detected by a non-medical professional, it doesn't always mean there is a problem. Sometimes, it can be hard for a non-medical person to detect a pulse in certain areas.
Fang JC, O'Gara PT. The history and physical examination: an evidence-based approach. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 11.
Schriger DL. Approach to the patient with abnormal vital signs. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 7.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885