Continuing Professional Development: Recording 12-lead ECG's

OverviewThe British Heart Foundation estimates between 113 000—146 000 myocardial infarctions occur in the UK each year. Evidence shows that patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) require timely reperfusion therapy to improve survival (Keeley et al, 2007). Therefore, paramedics must be confident in their ability to record electrocardiograms (ECGs) quickly and accurately. Accurate ECGs are also crucial for identifying angina pectoris, malignant and non-malignant arrhythmias. This module aims to address some of the issues involved in recording a diagnostic quality ECG and highlights some pitfalls faced in the emergency prehospital setting.Learning OutcomesAfter completing this module you will be able to:▪ Define the term diagnostic quality ECG and understand why it is key to appropriate diagnosis and management▪ Reflect on the advantages of holding a recognized ECG qualification▪ Appreciate the importance of calibration verification and identify situations where it is necessary to change voltage or speed settings▪ Become more confident in locating electrode positions accurately▪ Understand the importance of not using operator controlled filters and reflect on the consequences of choosing an inappropriate setting▪ Identify, reduce or remove common artifacts.

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