EMS Tips

Thready or Bounding … How do You Define?

I was asked, “Would you describe that pulse as thready?”

I have never had a good grasp of what is meant by “thready” or “bounding” as those terms seem very subjective. I think most EMS professionals could come to agreement on what fast, slow, regular, or irregular means. But I have yet to come to a good understanding of what is meant by thready, bounding, or even strong. Even weak and strong seem like they could be a function of palpation and proximity of the radial artery to the skin.

How do you define thready or bounding to a new EMT or paramedic student?

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.