ECG Lead Placement & ECG Electrodes [Micro Lecture]

In today’s micro-lecture, Australian Paramedical College Hon. Snr. Lecturer Sam Willis talks about how to manage the ECG Electrode Placement.

In today’s micro lecture, we’re going to talk about ECG electrodes, and ECG lead placement. Now here we have on the screen a typical ECG electrode. You have this soft pad, and underneath this soft pad is a type of gel that allows conduction of electricity to be read. Now, this silver part is the part that connects to the leads, so the ECG leads. Now, there are many different types of ECG electrodes. Sometimes paramedics will just for the purpose of the patient call them a sticky dot, because patients like to know that they’re sticky, and they feel sticky when you put them on the chest, and they’re designed to pick up electrical activity from the heart.

Now, you will get chance to practice both the leads two ECG and the 12 lead ECG at the different workshops. Have a look at this image here, guys. I want to show you this one. When you’re putting these dots on, remember that this is what it’s trying to do. You’re trying to pick up the electrical activity. Now, this image shows you where the ECG electrodes may be placed. You can either place them on the wrists and in other words, the limbs, one, two, three. Or, you can place them on the chest. One, two, three, sometimes a fourth one as well, which is an earth lead, which stops interference of artifacts, which is why its a movement.

This thing here is called Einthoven’s Triangle. The idea is that any way you place these ECG dots, the electrodes, is going to pick up the electrical activity from the heart, within this triangle. Let’s have a look at a number of other images. Look, this one here it shows you that you can either put them on the right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg. Or, you can place the same leads on the actual patient’s body as well. Now, the benefit of doing it on the body, and this is one of my preferred options, is that it reduces the amount of movement. Think about the hands, they’re particularly movable. Therefore, it interferes with the read-in. Of course, you can get just as good a quality reading in terms of distance. Remember on this previous image, it showed you a wider range of electrical reading.

I’m a big fan of this one here. And of course you will read both methods. You will read the limbs, and you’ll read the torso as well. Both of these are completely useful. That’s what we call a lead two. In other words, you’re using this to get predominantly one view, but we’re using today sophisticated technology, for example a life pack 12, life pack 15, you can actually get six views. Try and picture these limbs … these leads. When you put them on, one, two, three, four, you’re taking a picture in a number of directions, okay? A good example is this 21 lead ECG. So, when you do your workshop two, you’ll actually put 10 electrodes on the chest, and you’ll get 12 views on the ECG.

Okay, so that’s an introduction to ECG electrodes and lead placement.

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