If your Pulse is Irregular,
Check your pulse.
It's important to realize that you are not
counting your pulse, you are checking to make sure that your heartbeat (pulse)
is regular. When looking for signs of stroke, you are checking the rhythm of
your heartbeat. A normal heartbeat is steady. A very irregular is a danger
sign.... By just tapping your foot or counting aloud, determine if your pulse
is regular, irregular, or very irregular. A very irregular pulse is a trouble
alert. See the chart below for the four steps on checking your pulse.
The self-screening technique must be performed properly in order to obtain the correct results and should not be considered as a substitute for consulting with a physician. If you are having difficulty locating your pulse of performing the screening technique, you may want to discuss your concerns with you physician.
What is meant by regular, irregular and very irregular? A very irregular pulse or heartbeat is best understood by thinking about what the words "regular," "irregular," and "very irregular" mean. Look at the illustrations below. Imagine that the dashed lines represent individual pulses (heartbeats).
A normal regular heartbeat should look and feel like this:
(Note that the dashes are the same size and evenly spaced.)
An irregular heartbeat may look and feel like this:
(Where occasionally a beat is dropped or comes at a different interval.)
Note: An occasional irregular heartbeat is rarely something to worry about.
A very irregular heartbeat would look and feel like this:
(Where there is no pattern to the beats, and they are all different sizes.)
What do I do if I think my pulse is very rregular? Nobody expects you to make an exact diagnosis, but if you get a sense that something is amiss, you should make an appointment with your physician as soon as possible. to find out more anout stroke or how to check your pulse, contact the NSA at 1-800-STROKES.