Tips for a Clear ECG Trace | Seal Calibration
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Tips for a Clear ECG Trace

Tips for a Clear ECG Trace

Here at Seal Calibration we offer our customers support through the year as well as our excellent service on the day. We offer additional advice to staff on the day of your calibration on medical equipment operation and maintenance. ECG machines, Data Logger set up, Spirometers, Ear Syringe Machines and Pharmacy fridges are the most common.

Every week we take a large volume calls in the office from customers struggling with an aspect of the use of their device, after all unless you do it every day why would you know how to download the results from your pharmacy fridge data logger?

One of the most common issues we are contacted about is medical practices struggling to get a clear trace. This can be due to a number of factors including interference from electrical devices or mobile phones in close proximity, the condition of the patient’s skin being particularly hairy or oily or simply the type or condition of the electrodes, once the packet is open they do tend to dry up and different makes of ECG machine recommend different electrodes for use with their units.

Please follow the tips listed below to rule out any of the more obvious glitches and if you are still struggling? Call us on 0115 9063131 where we can advise further or have your ECG collected for a free assessment prior to and required repair taking place.

  1. Ignore the ECG machine.
  2. Use good quality disposable electrodes such as Q-Trace
  3. Apply the electrodes firmly to the patient, six in the appropriate positions on the chest
    and four in the appropriate positions on the limbs.
  4. These electrodes will work up to a moderately hairy chest, if the chest appears too hairy then a razor must be used to create an electrode site.
  5. If the patient's skin looks very hot or oily it must be wiped with an appropriate swab.
  6. Attach the ECG by means of the patient cable and alligator clips ensuring that the patient cable is not twisting and lifting the electrode off the body.
  7. Should this happen twist the alligator clip against the barrel of the patient cable and you will see that it will lie flat.
  8. Instruct the patient to lie completely still and breathe normally.
  9. Switch on the ECG machine and allow twelve to fifteen seconds to elapse before pressing the auto-start button.
  10. In those twelve to fifteen seconds the ECG machine will stabilise, the contact on the body will stabilise and the trace should be stable.


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