ECG or electrocardiograph is the process of recording the electoral activity of the heart within a time frame with the help of electrodes. Even the tiniest of heart’s activities are picked from the movements of the heart muscles and are graphed into a paper which gives the detailed summary of the heart’s working during that interval. It is common that this test is conducted on almost all the patients who report chest pain or cardiac related abnormality.
In a conventional ECG machine, the electrodes are placed on the limbs and the chest of the patient. 12 electrodes are used which are used in such a way that the electric response from the chest is absorbed from 12 different directions. These directions are called ‘leads’. The consolidated form of all the signals obtained from these electrodes is used to give the electrocardiogram. It is typically a graph in which voltage is plotted against a time scale.
A healthy cardiac cycle would produce a repeated shape for every heart beat. When this shape looks similar to the healthy heart’s graph, the patient is said to have a normal cardiac working. This ECG machine is nothing but a plotting machine that finds the graph points from the input voltage and the time elapsed.
The ECG machine is used to measure the rhythm of the heart beat, its rate, the position and size of the heart chambers and to detect if there is any defective part in the heart which alters the proper functioning of the heart. It is also used to detect the effect of the cardiac drugs and implanted pacemakers. It is made use of in the cases where surgical methods are employed to bring about some change in the structure of the heart.
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