The nurse is caring for a patient that suddenly goes into uncontrolled atrial fibrillation. To determine if the patient has an inadequate stroke volume, the nurse would assess for:

Pulse deficit.


• A pulse deficit is when the apical pulse is greater than the radial pulse. This is due to a low stroke volume in which most of the blood flow is not reaching the periphery

• Incorrect: A widening pulse pressure would not be expected. Instead, the nurse would assess for a narrow pulse pressure (when the difference between the systolic and diastolic pressures is less than 25% of the systolic value)

• Incorrect: Corrigan's pulse is associated with increased stroke volume and decreased peripheral resistance

• Incorrect: O'Connor's pulse is not a real condition

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