ECG Machines – Basic Facts You Should Know

An ECG machine, also known as an Electrocardiogram machine, is a diagnostic device used in patients with heart-related problems. Physicians usually order this test for patients who report anxiety, dizziness, weakness, difficulty in breathing, chest pain and shortness of breath, to name just a few.

What Can an ECG Machine Do?

This machine works by recording the electrical impulses emitted by the heart. This non-invasive diagnostic procedure can detect the following:

· Heartbeat rate and regularity

· Positioning and size of the cardiac chambers

· Diseased or damaged tissue, as well as structural abnormalities

· Pacemakers and surgical repairs, as well as the effects of certain drugs on the heart

One thing that this machine cannot measure is blood flow.

Parts of an ECG Machine

This machine is comprised of different structures. Cardiac tamponade ECG The biggest part is the circuitry box which houses the machine. It is linked to a number of electrodes, depending on the type of machine. These electrodes detect impulses, which are then recorded in pairs. Each pair is called a lead.

Types of Electrocardiogram Machines

There are several types of Electrocardiogram machines for different uses. Commonly seen in hospitals are the 3-lead ECG and 5-lead ECG machines, both of which are considered portable. These are used to monitor a patient’s heart activity during surgery, or while being transported in an ambulance. The 3-lead and 5-lead machines can only monitor a limited amount of heart activity.

Another model is the 12-lead ECG. As the name suggests, it records heart activity from twelve different angles. Because its results are more comprehensive, this test is preferred by most doctors since it is more useful in monitoring and diagnosing patients with cardiac conditions.

How a 12-lead Electrocardiogram Machine Test Works

In this examination, six electrodes are affixed onto the chest area. Four electrodes are placed on both arms and legs. These ten electrodes join in such a way that they are able to conduct readings from twelve different angles of the heart.

Every time the heart beats, depolarisation occurs, and this is what the electrodes sense in the skin. The detected impulses are relayed to the machine, which then prints the result on a special type of paper – an ECG paper, which bears squares measuring 1 millimeter each.

In a healthy heart, the machine picks up an orderly progression wave in each heartbeat, but in diseased or problematic hearts it can show results that demonstrate irregularities in terms of positioning, size or rhythm.

Conditions Detected

· Heart murmur – brought about by insufficient blood flow to the heart. While most murmurs are normal, some events are caused by a narrowed or block artery or vein.

· Arrhythmia – irregular heartbeats (slow or rapid) resulting from abnormal electrical impulses in the heart.

· Myocardial infarction – commonly known as “heart attack.” Characterized by cessation of heart activity due to oxygen deprivation resulting from blocked vessels.

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