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August 9, 1924


JAMA. 1924;83(6):445-446. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02660060049017

It may be said without likelihood of contradiction that no manifestation of the human body is more often observed carefully by physicians than the pulse. The heart rate is one of the few physiologic phenomena that are measured quantitatively in everyday bedside practice. Indeed, if an artist was endeavoring to portray a devotee of the art of medicine at work, he would most probably represent him in the act of counting the pulse. The slowing or the acceleration of the pulse rate has come to mean much to all concerned with the management of the sick, whether it be the patient, his family, his nurse or his physician. The irregularities, the strength and the weakness of the excursions of the wall of the radial artery have become indexes of various manifestations of the circulatory apparatus. It is only of late, however, that the significance of the pulse rate as an