What is ECG?

Many have already heard about the term ecg but does not know exactly what ecg is. ECG stands for electrocardiography. It originated from the German term, elektrodiogramm. It is a test that is done to measure the electric activity of the heart for a period of time. It is also used to determine the regularity of the heartbeats as well as the position of the heart chambers. To conduct the tests, electrodes are attached to the outer skin of the chest area. The electrical activity of the heart is recorded by an external device. The recorded report is also known as electrocardiogram or also known as ECG. So what is ECG? It can either stand for electrocardiography or electrocardiogram. The term has been derived from the greek words elektro, kardio and graph. Elektro is connected to electrical activities, kardio is for heart and graph in Greek means to write.

It is good to know not only what is ecg but also how it is done. Typical ECG uses 10 electrodes. The electrodes usually contain a conductor made of gel in the center of a self-adhesive pad. The cable cables are clipped to these adhesive pads. However, some electrodes have gels that already act as adhesive. One electrode is placed on the right arm and is labeled as RA. LA is the electrode placed in the left arm. RL will be the electrode placed on the calf muscle of the right leg and LL will be the one placed on the left. On the chest area, there is V1, which placed between ribs 4 & 5 on the right side and V2 on the same position but is placed on the left side. V3 is located between V2 and V4. V4 is located between ribs 5 and 6 in the imaginary line that extends down from the collarbone. V5 is placed horizontally with V4 and last is V6, which is horizontally with V4 and V5. These electrodes are the ones that send the electrical signal to a medical device that will record them. The data recorded will be used to determine the condition of the heart. Depending on the severity of the condition, an ECG can use up to 12 electrodes.

Who uses ECG? What is ECG for? ECG as mentioned above is used to measure the heart’s electrical activities. With ECG, the doctors will know if your heart is beating normally or if your heartbeat is steady and regular. It will also record the strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through each chamber of your heart. This test is beneficial to those who suspect a heart problem in progress, those who have abnormal breathing problem, those experiencing palpitations and chest pains. The results of an ECG will help doctors and physicians detect a heart problem. Heart problems will include blocked heart arteries, dislocated heart chambers, enlarged hearts and many others. The ECG can even be used to detect if a person has had a heart attack. The test results can also suggest other health disorders that affect the heart function.

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