Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to the tissues of the body; veins carry blood depleted of oxygen from the same tissues back to the heart. The arteries are the vessels with the "pulse", a rhythmic pushing of the blood in the heart followed by a refilling of the heart chamber. To determine heart rate, one feels the beats at a pulse point like the inside of the wrist for 10 seconds, and multiplies this numbers by six. This is the per-minute total.
Review Date 1/31/2015
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.