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?