Improper ECG Electrodes Placement May Cause Inaccurate EKG Results

by | Dec 19, 2019 | Health

If you are seeing your doctor for a routine physical or if you have been experiencing symptoms of cardiovascular disease, then you may need an electrocardiogram. Also known as an ECG or EKG, an electrocardiogram is a test that evaluates the electrical impulses of your heart. While this test is considered reliable, there are certain things that may skew your results. Here are some reasons why your ECG results may be inaccurate.

Improperly Placed ECG Electrodes

It essential that the electrocardiogram technician places the electrodes properly. Failure to do so may cause inaccurate results. This may result in unnecessary testing, which can lead to anxiety and an additional expense if you haven’t met your insurance deductable or if you do not have medical insurance. To reduce the risk for improper electrode placement, avoid wearing skin lotion on the day of your test and remain still while the technician is applying the electrodes.

Medication Effects

In addition to improperly placed ECG electrodes, certain effects from your prescription medications may also cause inaccurate EKG results. If you take antiarrhythmic drugs, your doctor may recommend that you not take them on the morning of your test. Antiarrhythmics can change the way the electrical impulses appear on your electrocardiogram and may cause your heart rate to slow down.

When this happens, the person interpreting your EKG results may believe that you have a cardiac condition known as bradycardia. This is an abnormally slow heartbeat which can lead to fainting, weakness, poor circulation and cardiac arrest. If you are unable to stop taking your antiarrhythmic medication before your test, be sure to tell the technician so that he or she can make a notation in your chart.

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