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

How to palpate aorta and femoral arteries?

  • Normally the aorta is not readily palpable, but with regular practice it can be felt by deep palpation a little above and to the left of the umbilicus.
  • Palpation of the aorta is done by means of finger tips. 
  • Press the extended fingers of both hands held side by side deeply into the abdominal wall to make out the left wall of aorta and its pulsation.
  • Remove both hands repeat the manoeuvre a few centimetres to the right. 
  • In this way the pulsation and width of aorta can be detected.
  • The femoral artery is felt just below the inguinal ligament at the midpoint between the anterior superior iliac spine and pubic symphysis. Place the pulps of the Right index, middle and ring fingers over this site and palpate the wall of the vessel, strength and character of pulsation. Compare pulsation with the opposite femoral pulse.