12 Lead ECG Tips

Did you know that 85% of problems that occur whilst trying to record a 12 lead ECG machine come from dirty crocodile clips, poor skin preparation or dry electrodes?

Follow the tips below to ensure that you don’t experience any problems when you’re next taking a 12 lead ECG:

  1. Shave the electrode sites if the patient is hairy and ensure the surface of the skin is thoroughly clean using a sterilising wipe.

  2. Once the patient’s skin has been cleaned, rub the skin with a dry gauze to remove any grease and dead skin, or excess alcohol left by the sterilising wipe.

  3. Use good quality ECG electrodes, such as the Ambu SUPATab, whose combination of wet gel and superior quick adhesion provides optimal signal quality.

  4. Once the electrodes are applied to the skin, allow them to settle for around a minute before starting the ECG. This allows time for the gel to make a good contact. 

  5. Spare electrodes should be stored in an airtight container. ‘Wet gel’ electrodes should be stored for a maximum of 14 days and ‘solid gel’ electrodes for a maximum of 30 days.

  6. If you are using crocodile clips ensure they are cleaned of electrode gel and hair regularly. We recommend you change your crocodile clips once a year when taking one to three ECGs per week.

If you experience any other problems when you're using our diagnostic equipment then remember to visit our dedicated support section for more help and advice.