Nicole Girsch 10/16/08 Pre-lab 6: BMEN 306: ECG Detection An electrocardiogram (abbreviated ECG) is a noninvasive test which is performed if a heart condition is suspected. An ECG is routinely done when there is suspected damage to the heart or if the patient is experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, strong, fast, or irregular heart beat, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness. It works by recording the electrical activity of the heart over time by graphically displaying each heartbeat as a series of waves. The electrocardiogram can show the heart’s rate and rhythm, and can also detect decreased blood flow, enlargement of the heart (hypertrophy), or the presence of either current or past heart attacks. The basic way the ECG works is by representing contractions of the heart by the P wave, the QRS complex, and the T wave. The P wave represents activity in the upper chambers of the heart, while the QRS complex and the T wave represent activity in the lower chambers. Electrical impulses originating in the sinoatrial node and then traveling through
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