More best practices in ECG recording

When recording a 12-lead ECG it is important to ensure accuracy in order to avoid misinterpretation of the ECG machine and mismanagement of the patient. Following the success of our 12 Lead ECG best practices article, we've gathered together some additional best practices to help you when you're next recording an ECG. 

Ensuring you use the highest quality ECG electrodes can resolve many of the issues associated with poor electrode adhesion. We always recommend Ambu Blue Sensor ECG electrodes as they are the highest quality cardiac diagnostic sensors available and exceed both ISO and AAMI standards.

Attaching The Electrodes

The correct placement of electrodes is typically determined by the hospital/physician and/or local protocol/procedures, please see our 12 lead ECG placement guide for the recommended position of electrodes when taking a 12 lead ECG.

Peel the required number of electrodes away from the liner/capsule and place on the skin, taking care not to touch the adhesive area. When using Ambu electrodes, place the electrode on the skin by gently pressing around the edge. For wet gel always avoid pressing down on the centre of the electrode. In the case of desiccated skin ensure the electrodes are not positioned directly over skin folds. 

Reducing Electrical Interference

To reduce the risk of electrical interference, ensure you switch off all non-essential electrical equipment in the immediate area. ECG read-outs can be affected by large electrical appliances, such as X-ray equipment and PC monitors. Avoid cable loops and do not run cables across the patient or adjacent to metal stools, as these act as aerials and affect the signal

Reducing Movement Artefact

To reduce movement artefact ensure that the patient is sitting or lying comfortably, apart from when performing stress test. The true offset connector feature of Ambu Blue Sensor electrodes dramatically reduces motion artefact, avoiding mis-diagnosis and ensuring that vital tests need not be repeated.

Removing The Electrodes

After monitoring, lift the non adhesive corner or tab to gently remove. Wet gel electrodes can be removed by pressing the centre of the electrode to disperse the gel and then gently peeled away. Gel residue can be removed using paper towels or water and the electrode is disposable and should be discarded according to hospital or physician guidelines.

For more advice when recording an ECG, visit our 12 Lead ECG Tips page and keep an eye on our News section for the latest hints and tips. Remember, if you experience any problems with any of your Numed diagnostic or waiting room equipment then we have a dedicated support section which can provide help and advice about a range of our equipment.