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Excerpt from Student’s Guide to the Examination of the Pulse, and Use of the Sphygmograph
At each contraction of the left ventricle, some five or six ounces of blood are suddenly propelled into the aorta, and a blood-wave is generated, which is rapidly propagated through the arterial system. The temporary distension of the arterial walls which is caused by this blood-wave, can be felt by the finger or measured by the sphygmograph, and is termed the pulse.
The exact character of the arterial expansion, i.e. of the pulse, varies in different cases, and depends partly upon the mode of contraction of the left ventricle, and the amount of blood which it propels into the aorta, and partly upon the condition of the arterial system. It is evident therefore that in the examination of the pulse we have an important means of investigating the condition of the heart and of the arterial system; and since the condition of the arterial system is to a large extent regulated by the vaso-motor nerve apparatus, we are enabled, by the observation of the pulse, to obtain in many cases valuable information as to the condition of the nerve tone (i.e. the general tone of the system); the frequency and strength of the pulse being chiefly valuable in this respect.
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|MPN||black & white illustrations|
|PartNumber||black & white illustrations|
|Title||Student’s Guide to the Examination of the Pulse, and Use of the Sphygmograph (Classic Reprint)|