A site for medical students - Practical,Theory,Osce Notes

How to examine for Collapsing Pulse an OSCE guide

The term collapsing pulse is used to describe a pulse with a rapid upstroke and descent, and is characteristically described in aortic regurgitation.
Other  names of the collapsing pulse
  • Watson's water hammer pulse
  • Cannonball pulse 
  • Pulsus celer.
How to elicit collapsing pulse?
To elicit the collapsing pulse you have to palpate the carotids or the radial pulse.
For the radial pulse:
  • Ask the patient to fully pronate his forearm.
  • Place your right hand on the radial pulse.
  • Grasp the patient's forearm with left hand (with your palm on the flexor aspect of patient's forearm).
  • Raise the hand above the level of the patient's head
  • Repeat the manoeuvre to note the accentuation of the collapse in the elevated position.