The cardiovascular examination is a portion of the physical examination that involves evaluation of the cardiovascular system. The exact contents of the examination will vary depending on the presenting complaint, but a complete examination will involve the heart (cardiac examination), lungs (pulmonary examination), belly (abdominal examination) and the blood vessels (peripheral vascular examination).
The cardiac examination is based on the different methods of evaluation, comprising the following sections: measurement of vital signs; inspection and palpation; percussion and auscultation; pulmonary examination; abdominal examination and peripheral vascular examination. The evaluation of a real patient will require switching between the different methods and even different organs to save time and keep the patient comfortable: for example, listening to the heart and the lungs of a young child before they get bored. The only materials needed are a sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff), a stethoscope and the use of four of your five senses: sight, touch, smell and sound.