Monday, June 3, 2019

Purpose of the Electrocardiogram (ECG) in Paramedic Practice

Purpose of the Electrocardiogram (cardiogram) in Paramedic PracticeLachlan Donnet-JonesIntroElectrocardiogram, commonly abbreviated to ECG or EKG, is defined as a bright tracing of the variations in electrical potential caused by the excitationof the heart muscle and detected at the body surface (Dorlands). An ECG monitor is the gubbins that has the top executive to read and graphically present an ECG reading (Mosbys Dictionary of Med) via a digital monitor or printed on a strip of supererogatory graph paper designed to show the rhythm of the heart over time (Mistovich). There be many different manufacturers of ECG monitors such as Philips and Physio-Control (ASNSW Protocols). An ECG monitor allows two methods of recording electrical activity, a 4- run reading and a 12- excrete reading. The ECG readings consist of three segments a P wave, QRS complex and a T wave. The PQRST waves are the components that create the waves or spikes presented on an ECG reading. Electrocardiography has an extensive history dating back many centuries as pioneers of checkup acquaintance were eager to understand the electrical functionality of the heart.History of ECG, what was before ECG?In the year 1600 William Gilbert discovered static electricity, a discovery that would eventuate in the development of one of the most important medical inventions of all time, the electrocardiogram. In the early nineteenth century the first instruments were invented that were sensitive enough to detect underage electrical currents in the heart. The first functioning electrocardiogram was created by Willem Einthoven, a Dutch doctor and physiologist, in 1903. Einthoven won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1924 for his electrocardiogram invention.Prior to the invention of the electrocardiogram an instrument called the string galvanometer was used to detect electrical activity, it was an earlier invention of Einthovens. The string galvanometer could be used to evaluate cardiac electrical activity in a procedure where long-sufferings would submerge three of their limbs into a sa course of action solution creating Einthovens Triangle, a commandment still used in contemporary electrocardiogram recording. Before both the electrocardiogram and string galvanometer were invented a device called the capillary tubing electrometer was invented by Gabriel Lippmann in 1872. The capillary electrometer consisted of sulphuric acid and mercury in a capillary tube with wires at each end (WEST INDIAN MED JOURNAL). Similar to the string galvanometer Lippmanns device requires the patient to place limbs into tubs of saline solution and was the first device to read cardiac activity using this method (WEST INDIAN MED JOURNAL). Little did these early inventers recognise that their inventions would go on to be used thousands of times per day at all corners of the globe with its purpose and functionality continually polished and refined over the years as is evident in modern day ECG tp// the waves of ECG their genesis.pdfThe origins of the electrocardiogram as a clinical instrument.pdfhttp// functionalityThe ECG machines purpose and functionality is to result information and understanding of the hearts electrical functionality. (MISTOVICH) This includes information on the current rate at which the heart is beating, whether the heartbe at rhythm is regular or irregular, how strong the electrical signals are and the timing between the electrical signals.There are two methods to procure an ECG reading, a 4- pinch and a 12-lead. The main release is the number of leads used to obtain a reading which in effect allows for a better or worse reading. They are both effective in attaining information on the hearts electrical activity, however they are different and have their advantages and disadvantages. The 4-lead method, sometimes called 3-lead, typically uses three limb-leads RA (right arm), LA (left arm) and RL (right leg). Each lead is attached to the torso despite the lead labels indicating otherwise. The RA lead (white) is placed to the right side of the anterior chest just under the clavicle at the midclavicular line and is the negative lead, meaning it augments the signal of the LA lead. The LA lead (black, brown or green) is placed OPPOSITE the RA lead and is the grounding lead. RL lead is the final lead and is placed to the left lower chest at about the seventh intercostal space on the anterior axillary line and is the positive lead. 4-lead monitoring is useful as it is quick to apply and 4-lead monitoring has its benefits however it cannot deliver the same level of comprehensive and lucubrateed information that a 12-lead reading is capable of. The application of a 12-lead ECG monitor requires applying 10 leads, 4 limb leads and 6 precordial leads.4 lead12 leadPQRSTGraph paperDefibrillationPhillips, lifepakOther functionsGuidelines for electrocardiography.pdfhttp// may-2010/how-to-read-an-electrocardiogram-ecg.-part-one-basic-principles-of-the-ecg.-the-normal-ecg.htmlECG contribution to patient assessmentECG Monitoring is typically used following a base assessment especially in cases where there is a guess issue with the heart or cardiovascular system. An ECG provides paramedics with information about the electrical functionality of the cardiova scular system. This is done by analysing the electrical activity displayed on the ECG reading and observing any changes in the waveform in relation to the rate and rhythm. As puff up as the rate and rhythm the paramedic would note any changes in the P wave, PR intervals, QRS complex, S-T segments and the P to R ratios (REFERENCE). Through this method of psychoanalysis the sign and symptoms of a patient assumed to be having cardiac issues can be confirmed for the initial diagnosis (REFERENCE). For example during the primary assessment the patient is suspected of having a myocardial infarction and is showing symptoms of chest pain, hypotension, diaphoresis and a weak and rapid pulse the paramedics primary close would be to obtain an ECG reading which can then confirm the initial assessment by virtue of the PQRST waveform. Ambulance Service New South Wales protocols provides a list of common conditions that may require ECG monitoring, the list includes Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), Dyspnoea (SOB), trauma, lowered level of consciousness (LOC), post syncope episode, cardiac dysrhythmias and many other conditions which interfere with the hearts normal capacity to function (ASNSW Protocols).Provides paramedic information in a situation (subsequent to primary assessment/surgery) that may involves cardiac issues, events or abnormalities via reading the ECG reading and linking any abnormalities in the PQRST waveform to the patients symptoms condition. (LOOK IN MISTOVICH, PP. 1463ish)Situations or indications that may require ECG monitoring include post syncopal episode, a decreased level of consciousness, chest pain, acute coronary syndrome, shortness of breath, dysrhythmias or if any cardiac occurrence is suspected (ASNSW Skills 2011, 103.5.2).FOR EXAMPLES Myocardial Infarction etc. Use a med journal/article/study?Strengths, weaknesses challenges faced by paramedics (critique)An ECG monitor such as the Phillips carried by Ambulance Tasmania or the Lifepak15 carri ed by Ambulance Service New South Wales are incredibly versatile diagnostic tools. They are portable and can be taken into the force field to patients even in challenging situations such as the small interior of a crumpled car or a in a outside bush area (ASNSW Protocols AT Protocols). The ECG monitor allows for immediate and continuous monitoring of the electrical functionality of the heart permitting a critical assessment of the patients condition to be made. The paramedic can then inform the receiving hospital of the patients condition and allow for the necessary measures for treatment to be nonionized prior to the patients arrival. (REFERENCE)One of the significant faults of an ECG is it can only illustrate the electrical activity of the heart, it does not tell us how well the heart is functioning mechanically (Jones, 2008).Though there are clear benefits of using an ECG monitor in the paramedic field there are also certain weaknesses in its use such as the unreliability of c onsistent and accurate ECG readings. It is essential for paramedics to accurately interpret ECG readings to forfend mistaken initial diagnosis which can prove costly for patient well-being in time-critical situations. Contributing factors to inaccurate ECG interpretation include cognitive bias and heuristics (mental shortcuts) (ECG READINGS BY DOCTORS). Properly cleaning skin with swabs, removing any hair in the way and certifying that the area is dry before application of electrodes will back up to increase ECG accuracy and reduce inaccuracies (MISTOVICH ASNSW Protocols). Other environmental factors such as vehicle movement can contribute to inaccurate ECG readings by virtue of unstable leads creating artefacts. Similarly if the patient is in a combative or wrestles state it can interfere with clear ECG readings, so retentiveness the patient calm, reducing anxiety and eliminating stressful factors can be beneficial to both acquiring vital information and the patients well-being. (REFERENCE)References2011 Electrocardiogram inDorlands illustrated medical dictionary, Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, USA.2012 Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) inMosbys dictionary of medicine, nursing, health professions, Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, USA. Accessed 30 March 2014, from Credo ReferenceGoy, Jean-Jacques Staufer, Jean-Christophe Schlaepfer, Jrg Christeler, Pierre 2013, Electrocardiography (ECG), e-book, accessed 19 March 2014, http// champion/FullRecord.aspx?p=1310813.Jones, SA 2008,ECG Success Electronic Resource Exercises In ECG Interpretation / Shirley A. Jones, n.p. Philadelphia F.A. Davis Company, c2008., Items in the Library Catalogue, EBSCOhost, viewed 19 March 2014.Resourceshttp// 6c19e-901d-440a-b791-a71625c1f886%40sessionmgr114vid=1hid=104bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3ddb=cat02831aAN=UTas.b1560119http// 1 of 8

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