Electrocardiograph (ECG)

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  • Electrocardiograph (ECG)
    • ECG's diagnose disorders of the circulatory system
      • Heart Attacks - ECG shows it as abnormal.       - Heals with scar tissue
      • Cornory Artery Disease
      • Heart Valve Problems
      • Enlarged heart caused by pregnancy - Bigger impulses on ECG
      • Heart Arithmas (Irregular Heartbeats) - Fast, Slow, Irregular
      • Weakening of the heart muscle
    • What is an ECG?
      • An ECG is a simple test which records electrical activity coming from different parts of  the heart. before they contract.
      • The recording is called an electrocardiogram and come in the form of a wavy line on paper or a moving line on a monitor screen which is more common.
    • Preparing a patient for an ECG
      • The patient undresses to the waist and lies down on a bed.
        • Electrodes are attached to the patients CHEST, WRISTS and ANKLES with stick pads
          • Wires link electrodes to a machine that detects and amplifies the electrical impulses that occur to each heartbeat.
            • These impulses are recorded on paper or computer.
              • Takes 5 minuits
                • ! Sometimes malfunctions can only be seen when the heart is working quite hard. To detect these the patient may be asked to exercise on a treadmill or exercise bike while readings are taken. This is called a stress test.
                • Electrodes placed elsewhere on the body reveal the activity of the arteries and veins.
                • Preparing a patient for an ECG
                  • The patient undresses to the waist and lies down on a bed.
                    • Electrodes are attached to the patients CHEST, WRISTS and ANKLES with stick pads
                      • Wires link electrodes to a machine that detects and amplifies the electrical impulses that occur to each heartbeat.
                        • These impulses are recorded on paper or computer.
                          • Takes 5 minuits
                            • ! Sometimes malfunctions can only be seen when the heart is working quite hard. To detect these the patient may be asked to exercise on a treadmill or exercise bike while readings are taken. This is called a stress test.
                            • Electrodes placed elsewhere on the body reveal the activity of the arteries and veins.
    • How is a single heartbeat decipted on an ECG?
      • Cardiologists label different parts of the characteristic wave pattern with the letter P,Q,R,S and T and describe the action of the heart as the atria and ventricles contract.
    • How the heart beats
      • The heart is made of muscle
        • The Sinotrial node (SA) and the Atrioventricular (AV) node are the two pacemakers of the heart
          • They organise the contraction and relaxation of the heart to pump blood through the heart
            • The contraction is started by the SA which produces an electrical signal which passes across through the heart
              • This makes the atria contract to force blood through the ventricles
                • The AV at the base of the atrium picks up and sends an electrical signal which passes down the 'Bundle of His'
                  • This makes the ventricles contract to force the blood out of the heart.
      • This makes the ventricles contract to force the blood out of the heart.
    • Advantages
      • Quick/Painless
      • Non -invasive
      • Equipment is relatively small and cheap
    • Disadvantages
      • Inconclusive and usually requires further investigation (eg imaging technique) is likely to be needed to find out exactly what is needed
    • How the ECG records the electrical activity of the hear.
      • P Wave - Is caused by an electrical impulse spreading across the atria triggering them to contract. What if the P waves were absent/? Atrial Fibrillation
      • QRS Wave - Is caused by the electrical impulse spreading to the ventricles, triggering them to contract. What if the ST elevated? Heart attack?
      • T Wave - Is caused by ventricles returning to their resting state or diastole. Why may the T waves be inverted? Caused by: Smoking, Anxiety, Tachycardia or Haemorrhagee

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