Peripheral Vascular Exam (PVD)
Peripheral Vascular Exam (PVD)
Please assess the student performing a peripheral vascular exam of the upper and lower extremities
Student's Email:

GENERAL - Observe the student doing the following:

Washes hands
Introduces self and exam to patient
Appropriate draping of patient

Expose both legs to the ASIS. Ensure the groin remains draped


INSPECTION - The student should comment on the following:

Patient's general appearance

Ex: Well/unwell, in pain

Skin and nail changes

Ex: Hair loss, shiny skin

Arterial & venous ulcers

Arterial - Distal to medial malleolus, Venous - Proximal to medial malleolus

Varicose veins
Signs of cyanosis

Central - Bluish mucous membranes, Peripheral - Bluish extremities

Examines for symmetry

PALPATION - Observe the student performing the following manoeuvers:

Palpates the popliteal pulse

In the popliteal fossa with the knee flexed

Palpates the posterior tibial pulse

Posterior to the medial malleolus

Palpates the dorsalis pedis pulse

Lateral to extensor hallucis longus tendon

Comments on rate, rhythm, and amplitude of pulses
Palpates pulses bilaterally
Peripheral edema

Best detected over the tibia, or the dorsum of foot


Compare temperature bilaterally

Capillary refill

Normal - Return of color within 3-4 seconds


SPECIAL TESTS - Observe the student performing the following manoeuvers:

Pallor on elevation

Normal - mild pallor, Abnormal - Marked pallor signifies arterial insufficiency

Rubor on dependency

Normal - Color returns in <10seconds, Abnormal - Flushing


GLOBAL RATING SCALES - Please rate the student on their overall performance:

Understands rational of manoeuvers and findings
Organized approach
Sensitivity toward patient concerns and comfort during the examination