According to Practical Clinical Skills, reading a telemetry strip, or an electrocardiogram, begins with understanding the events that a normal electrocardiogram tracing represents. Once a person has a good grasp of this concept, it is possible to move on to interpreting the heart rate and rhythm and detecting abnormalities. However, it takes time and a good deal of practice to perfect the technique.Know More
Practical Clinical Skills explains that a normal EKG tracing represents the waveforms created by the electrical activity of the heart muscle as it beats one time. It begins with the "P" wave, which is normally deflected upward and represents atrial depolarization, the electrical event that initiates the beat. The "P" wave is followed by the QRS complex, which represents the depolarization and contraction of the left ventricle or the actual pumping action of the heart. It begins with the "Q" wave, which deflects downward and is followed by a large upward deflection, the "R" wave. The "R" wave is then followed by a larger downward deflection, the "S" wave and a small upward-deflected "T" wave, which represents repolarization or the heart's return to a resting state.
In some tracings, a last wave, known as the "U" wave, may be visible. This represents the recovery of specialized fibers within the heart muscle, known as the Purkinje fibers, which are responsible for synchronizing the heartbeat. The intervals between the various waveforms, their shape and their size are important indicators of how the heart muscle is functioning and a person's overall health, according to Practical Clinical Skills.Learn more about Diagnostics & Imaging
The marks on an electrocardiogram are called waves, and abnormal waves may indicate an abnormal heart rhythm, also known as arrhythmia, explains WebMD and MedlinePlus. Other causes of abnormal waves on an ECG include damage to the heart muscle, enlargement of the heart and congenital heart defect.Full Answer >
ECG and EKG are both acronyms for electrocardiogram. This is a test for problems with the electrical activity of the heart, which triggers the heart muscle to contract and pump blood through the arteries. Doctors may order an EKG to diagnose the cause of arrhythmia (irregular beat), heart attack or heart failure, according to WebMD.Full Answer >
The P wave, QRS complex and the T wave represent electrical activity in the heart on an electrocardiogram. The ECG Learning Center explains that the P wave represents the depolarization of the right and left atria. The QRS complex follows the P wave and depicts the activation of the right and left ventricles. Practical Clinical Skills reveals that the T wave indicates repolarization of the ventricles.Full Answer >
A cardiogram test may refer to either an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram test. The electrocardiogram test is a medical test that checks for issues with the electrical activity in the heart, while the echocardiogram test is a test that uses an ultrasound to examine the heart.Full Answer >