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Interpreting_an_EKG

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					Title:
Interpreting an EKG

Word Count:
440

Summary:
EKGs can assist doctors in diagnosing and determining any current or past
heart abnormalities and are often a regular screening for those with
heart disease. Through electrodes attached at various strategic body
points, the EKG machine records the electrical impulses of the heart. The
results of the impulses are displayed on a computer monitor and then
printed onto graph paper. The attending physician or EKG technician
interprets your heart health by reading the graphed EKG image.


Keywords:
EKG, EKG Reading, EKG Interpretation, EKG Machine


Article Body:
EKGs can assist doctors in diagnosing and determining any current or past
heart abnormalities and are often a regular screening for those with
heart disease. Through electrodes attached at various strategic body
points, the EKG machine records the electrical impulses of the heart. The
results of the impulses are displayed on a computer monitor and then
printed onto graph paper. The attending physician or EKG technician
interprets your heart health by reading the graphed EKG image.

EKGs are a critical tool for medical professionals to diagnose and treat
heart ailments. The EKG reading of your heart is compared to the reading
of a standard/normal heart in order to get an idea of your heart
function. Abnormalities in the heart rate, heart rhythm or contractions
and relaxations can signal the presence of past heart attacks, heart
disease or coronary artery disease. If any of these symptoms are present,
your doctor will refer you for further testing.

There are literally dozens of different methods for interpreting EKGs but
most begin with a search for recurring patterns. One of the first things
EKG technicians look for is heart rate. Electrodes are used to stimulate
the heart into contracting and then relaxing. The first spike in the
reading (the “P” spike) represents the impulses from the upper chamber of
the heart. A flatter line called the “PR” interval represents a bridge
between the contracting and relaxing of the atria. Each EKG has various
other spikes and dips representing heart electrical waves; each spike or
dip is referred to by an alphabetic letter.

Most normal hearts have a pattern with a slightly varying rhythm. This is
called sinus arrhythmia and is considered normal and healthy. The absence
of sinus arrhythmia may indicate other problems with the heart. In EKG
interpretation, the lack of sinus arrhythmia has been seen to predict the
occurrence of sudden death from heart attack or heart failure. The
results of an EKG may become the basis for additional treatment. Your
doctor will decide if further evaluation is needed. EKG technicians are
highly trained and skilled medical professionals; many physicians
consider these technicians to be the first authority in interpreting the
EKG results.

Please Note: Professional EKG readings require a great amount of
training and education. Since many methods exist to interpret these
readings, it is often difficult for non-medical people to understand the
terminology. If you are having an EKG performed, your technician will be
glad to answer any questions regarding the EKG reading. If you notice
something that seems abnormal to you, the technician may be able to calm
your fears and by explaining the results in layman's terms.

				
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