Performing the Test
The Max Pulse test is easy to perform and can be done in as little as one minute. Here are simple instructions that will help you to get accurate results. Click to see an overview of the Max Pulse.
- Do not perform the test until 2 hours after the patient has taken caffeine. Do not let the patient smoke before the test. For most accurate results, the test should be done on an empty stomach or mostly empty stomach (digestion can cause the body to tighten outer arteries and push blood to the internal organs).
- Have the test performed in a quiet room. Make sure there are no noises, vibrations or bright lighting that might disturb the patient during the short test.
- Have the patient relax for a few minutes before getting started. Anxiousness, tension, and stress affect the test. The test should be taken with the patient in a resting state since the pulse wave is affected by blood pressure, blood flow etc.
- The temperature of a room should be comfortable. If the clinic is kept cold or the climate is cold, then pay attention to make sure that the patient is warmed up before the test and does not have cold hands. Keep in mind that the device is using the volume of blood at the fingertip to track the heart and arteries. If the hands are cold, circulation to the fingertips can be too low for an accurate reading. (Disposable hand warmers can kept available in case of cold hands).
- Attach the finger clip lightly to the left index finger, making sure the clip is fully seated onto the finger. Make sure the finger clip is not being squeezed. There should be no pressure on the clip. For example a person who tucks their hands under their thighs will get an inaccurate readings. The hand should be approximately at heart level.
- Acrylic nails (false nails) can block the Max Pulse sensor in some cases, especially if they are long and wont allow the sensor to be seated deeply on the finger. In this instance retest the patient when this has been removed. Always ensure the finger clip is seated properly on the finger.
- The patient should not move or talk and should keep their eyes open during the test. The patient should breathe normally during the test. The patient should not meditate or try to influence the test.
Important: Invalid Tests
If you see any of these while the test is running, the test is invalid and the patient must be checked for A-C below and retested.
- A coarse or irregular heartbeat graph
- no heartbeat graph at all
- heart rate impossibly high or impossibly low
All these things indicate that the finger clip cannot read the patients finger. Most often these come from cold hands. Warm up the hands and any of these issues that are present will disappear.
INVALID AND INACCURATE TEST RESULTS
It is very important for both practitioners and those who are performing the test to be able to see when a Max Pulse test result is invalid.
There are three main reasons that results are invalid.
A. The most common cause of invalid test results is poor circulation in the patients hands, caused by cold hands or on rare occasions by Reynauds Disease (which is characterized by poor peripheral circulation). Because of this we recommend keep disposable hand warmers with the machine (available from most CVS, Walgrens etc) . The person doing the test should always feel the patient hands before starting the test to confirm they have a natural warmth.
B. The second most common cause is the patient doing something other than sitting quietly and waiting for the test to complete. If the patient moves, talks, closes their eyes, or alters their breathing or in any way makes an effort to influence the results, the test should be retaken.
C. Testing on a full or mostly full stomach. After eating, the body will constrict and relax main arteries to push blood into the digestive tract and balance it once there. This can alter the results and in fact results taken during the digestion period can be different one to the next, as the body adjusts for digestion.
Type 5 through 7 scores should be referred to a specialist (see documentation for what each of these score represents). Before referral it can be a good idea to retest a person taking care that one of the above factors was not missed by the person doing the test.
Recognizing A Completely Invalid Test: Tests can be inaccurate because of reasons A-C above. They can appear a bit worse or better than they really are. But in some cases the result can be completely invalid and meaningless. You will see these invalid tests immediately because they show the patient scoring in three or more categories and often none of the scores are over 50%. Any test where the patient scores significant percentages in three different categories is invalid.
- Arterial type score of less than 50% is showing as the dominant type. (Dominant arterial type is always more than 50% of the heart beats in accurate tests).
- 3 Way score. If the patient shows up with at least 5 percent of heart beats in 3 or more categories, the test is invalid. Check for cold hands and re-test being strict with no moving and no talking during the test. All three way scores are invalid.
If you have any concern about the accuracy of a test result please send us the test and we will assist.
Information on this website is given as anecdotal advice. For all medical matters, consult a medical professional. See our full disclaimer here.