Millions of people each year have an electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) test to assess the electrical activity of their hearts. ECG tests are very important to review the health of your heart. ECG tests help diagnose heart disease and abnormal conditions. ECG tests are painless and can be done resting or during exercise. Patients are connected to the ECG machine by ECG electrodes. ECG electrodes are available in a wide variety shapes, sizes, and adhesives to optimally fit the clinical needs of specific tests.
ECG electrodes have different backing materials specific to their use. ECG electrodes that are worn during exercise need to stretch and allow for perspiration. Newer types of electrodes have a non-porous backing material that can be worn for several days without skin irritation. The squeeze clip is popular because it connects securely to the electrode without pressure on the patient, negating benefit and cost of an offset tab connector. Some ECG electrodes can stay fresh for up to 60 days in a folded bag. Here are some of the most common types:
The most common ECG monitoring strategies use either a 3-Lead, 5-Lead, or 12-Lead.
12 Lead ECG is a part of the routine assessment of a patient with possible Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). In conjunction with heath history, symptoms and vital signs the 12 lead ECG is critical to the diagnosis of a cardiac patient.
There are 10 wires on an ECG machine that are connected to specific parts of the body. These wires break down into 2 groups:
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