When is a femoral pulse required?

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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There are different types of pulses, the central pulses and the peripheral pulses. The femoral artery is one of the central pulses (the other is the carotid artery). The aorta feeds the femoral artery directly so this pulse is generally stronger. Sometimes a femoral pulse can be felt when a peripheral pulse cannot be felt. When this happens, it usually means that the person has lost a great deal of blood and has very low blood pressure.

I worked in a hospital for many years and when a peripheral pulse could not be felt, the nurse or doctor would check for a femoral pulse.

Your femoral artery begins in your abdomen, where your aorta splits. It can be felt in your groin area, at the crease where your lower abdomen meets your upper thigh. Find the beginning of your pelvic bone (the first bone you hit moving outward from your bellybutton). Then place your fingers about 3" in (closer to your bellybutton) and 4" down (towards your feet). You should find your femoral artery here, near the crease between your groin and leg.

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