ECG - One of The Most Important Testing Equipment's in Medicine
Electrocardiography - this is what ECG stands for. A seemingly complicated word, electrocardiography can easily be explained by examining its etymology - electro- as in "electricity, using electricity" , cardio- from heart in ancient Greek and -graphy from "graphos" - to write. Which means that ECG is the process of examining the electrical impulses that pass through the heart and its neighboring tissues?
In another context, the acronym ECG can also be used to describe the particular device used to perform the process. The ECG devices are named in correspondence to how many electrical leads they have - 12 lead or 4 lead ECG devices, for example. An electrical lead is basically 3 electrodes - a positive, negative and ground electrode. Operating an ECG device is not easy, which is why there are ECG learning programs available to those who want to perform this medical procedure.
A vital part of the ECG learning process is to remember where to place the electrodes which will receive electrical impulses from the person's heart. This gets even more complicated when having to remember which electrode is positive, negative or ground. That's why they're most often color coded, for the convenience of the person who has to set up the ECG.
In order to be allowed to operate an ECG, you must undergo a training program in order to understand how the apparatus works. There are online ECG learning opportunities that various sites present - through them a person can learn, through interactive ECG learning tools how to place the electrodes, initiate the procedure and begin taking the measurements.
However, for the purpose of explaining the basics of ECG, we'll state that the electrodes should be placed on the arms and feet, in specific positions where they can trace the heart's activity. This takes up 4 of the 10 active leads, the other 6 are placed in the intercostal spaces on the person's chest - those are places between the ribs of a person's rib cage.
The graph produced either on paper or on a screen is used to compare characteristics of the patient's heart to the hearts of average patients, as well as to track certain delays in the function of the heart. It should be said that the electrocardiogram does not measure any pulse-related parameters of the heart. It is merely a way to track the electric potential of the heart and check for tissue damage and other related defects. Even though it might sound grim, an average ECG graph might be detected in a heart that is not even pumping.
Through ECG learning, people operating the ECG device can help detect pulmonary embolism, cardiac murmurs and myocardial infraction, which are all serious conditions. If you wish to train for an ECG specialist, there are lots of online ECG learning tools to help you accomplish that in a way that is easy to understand and later apply to patients. Since its commercial introduction around the beginning of the 20th century, the ECG has helped save a lot of lives and prevented lots of strokes and cardiac complications, which make it all the more worthy of being studied.