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How to perform an Electrocardiogram

It is important to ensure the correct procedure of the electrocardiogram (EKG) in order to avoid errors that may make its interpretation difficult.

Steps to Perform an Electrocardiogram

Inform your patient about the test and the risks involved.

Ask your patient to remove electrical equipment such as mobile phones or watches that may interfere with the signal when performing the electrocardiogram.

How to perform an Electrocardiogram

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The patient must also remove metallic objects, such as chains or bracelets, from the EKG electrode area.

Ask your patient to undress from the waist up and expose their ankles, in order to place correctly the electrocardiogram electrodes.

Always ensure your patient’s modesty is not compromised by covering their torso with a bed sheet, particularly with women.

Make the patient lay down in the supine position on a stretcher near the electrocardiograph.

Clean and disinfect with an alcohol solution those areas in which electrocardiogram electrodes are to be placed to ensure good attachment to the skin and a better EKG signal.

Place the EKG electrodes on the thorax, wrists and ankles. It is important to be rigorous in the exact placement of the electrodes, to ensure a correct reading of the electrocardiogram.

Inform the patient that he/she cannot move or speak and that he/she can breathe normally while the EKG is being obtained.

Record the electrocardiogram.

Check the electrocardiogram before removing the electrodes. Make sure every lead is well seen and that there are not many artefacts present. If in doubt, consult a doctor. Repeat the EKG procedure, if necessary.

Important: always write the patient's name and surname on the electrocardiogram along with the date and time the EKG was performed.

If an abnormal situation is observed while obtaining the EKG, the physician should be notified without removing the electrodes from the patient.

It is also advisable to make a rhythm strip in patients suspected of having an arrhythmia.

Clean the electrodes from any remaining gel. Once your patient is dressed up, you can tell them when they will be informed of the electrocardiogram report and, if possible, who will be the doctor to do so

In the next section we will further explain electrocardiogram paper. Click on Next down below to stay with us.

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