Electrocardiography (ECG) is a process of mapping electrical activity of the heart. It is simple, quick, non-invasive & most commonly performed test to evaluation heart. It gives information about electrical & muscular function of the heart.
Interpretation of ECG by physician provides information about the heart’s rhythm and rate. It also detects problems with the conduction system and/or its electrical axis. Circulation problems of the coronary arteries are also detected which helps in diagnosing a heart attack.
An ECG can be performed as a resting, exercise or long-term ECG.
The skin should be clean and dry to prevent any electrical interference to get an acceptable tracing for interpretation. Shivering or tremors can interfere with the tracing and cause interference that affects the quality of the ECG tracing. So, patient should hold still for 5-10 seconds without moving to get an accurate ECG.
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The heart pumps blood to body in rhythmic format. To do this, the heart muscle must contract constantly, which requires an electrical impulse. This electrical impulse comes from the sinus node (located in the right atrium) which is referred as heart’s natural pacemaker. Via electrical pathways, this electrical current is transmitted throughout the heart, enabling regular contraction and relaxation. Detection of this electrical current on the surface of the body (i.e. the chest wall) via adhesive electrodes is the basis of ECG.
There is a standardized system for placement of electrode for performing routine ECG test in Pune. Ten electrodes are needed to produce 12 electrical views of the heart. An electrode lead or patch is placed on each arm and leg (called limb leads) and six are placed across the chest wall (called chest leads). The signals received from each electrode are recorded & printed view of these recordings is the electrocardiogram or ECG. This Electrocardiogram test result is printed out for documentation.
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