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Ekg Manual

Ekg Manual

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Published by Antonio Sanchez

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Antonio Sanchez on Feb 01, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/05/2013

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 The EKG
Biomedical EngineeringThe University of Connecticut
 
BME Program Director: Dr. John D. EnderleInstructors:April DixonPete Flosdorf Chris LieblerLaura RomonoskyBeth Showers
 
UConn Biomedical Engineering
Welcome to the University of Connecticut Biomedical Engineering lab. Inthis session, you will learn about an electrocardiogram machine (EKG). You will begin by learning about some background information on EKGs.From there, we will cover some basic electronics, such as resistors andcapacitors and how they function. Then, we will show you how to buildyour own EKG, and how to test it out.
BACKGROUND
Electrocardiography
Electrocardiography is a method of monitoring and recording the electriccurrents generated during the alternating contractions of the atria andventricles of the heart. The device used to monitor and record thesesignals is an electrocardiogram, or ECG for short. An ECG is commonlycalled an EKG, which is what we will refer to an electrocardiogram as fromthis point on. When using an EKG, electrodes are applied to the skin inplaces where the heart’s signals can be measured easily. Usually, thesespots are between muscles on the upper arms and lower legs. Cablesconnect the electrodes to the EKG, where the electrical signal is turnedinto a waveform on a computer or a paper plot. The results produced fromthis machine allow doctors to observe the performance and condition of the heart as well as diagnose any problems they may find in the signal. Anormal EKG signal is shown in Figure 1. The heart’s electrical system is quite complex. Electrical rhythms begin asimpulses emitted from the sinoatrial (SA) node, also known as the heart’s“natural pacemaker.” The impulse then travels across a specific route, orpathway, moving through the atrioventricular (AV) node and into theventricles. Once the impulse reaches the ventricles, it serves as a set of instructions, causing the heart’s chambers to contract in a routine andconsistent manner. The path of this electrical signal, called the PQRSTwaveform (Fig. 2), may be followed through the heart in Figures 2 and 3. This path constitutes a single heartbeat. The EKG breaks down eachheartbeat into a set of three distinct waves: the P wave, the QRS complexFigures 1 and 2: A normal EKG signal and the different segments of a singlewaveform respectively.
 
and the T wave. These waves indicate behavior of the impulse at eachlocation along its pathway. The P wave is associated with the spread of the impulse through the heart’s upper chambers (atria). The QRS complexand the T wave reflect the contraction and relaxation of the ventriclesrespectively.
What is an EKG used for?
If this set of rhythms is interrupted, delayed or sent down the wrong path,the heartbeat may become irregular, moving too fast or slow. Theseabnormal rhythms are produced if a patient has suffered a heart attack orheart disease. An EKG is used to detect these changes. EKGs may also beused if patients experience any of the following symptoms:
Angina (chest pain resulting from the heart not getting enoughoxygen)
Palpitations (strong, fast or otherwise irregular heartbeat)
Arrhythmias (irregular, fast or slow heart rhythms)
Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
Syncope (lightheadedness or loss of consciousness)
Pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium - a thin, fluid-filled sacsurrounding the heart)Figure 3: A cross-section of the anatomical structure of the heart. Blueindicates passages bringing blood into the heart (oxygen poor); redindicates passages through which blood exits (oxygen rich).

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