We the cardiac axis differs in relation to changes

We undertook an
experiment as a small group of 5 to see what effect was had on an ECG as the
electrodes were moved further up the arm away from the wrists, where they are
meant to be (SCST, 2014). We did this because
the ECG is a very important  diagnostic
tool used in hospitals and clinics all over the world, yet electrodes are often
incorrectly placed (Borys Surawicz, 2008) . The ECG is
commonly used as it is an inexpensive and relatively simple procedure that
provides clinicians with a lot of information.  It is very important that the ECG electrode
positions are standardised. Without this standardisation it would not be
possible to establish what constitutes as a normal healthy ECG. Nor would it be
possible to compare an individual patients ECGs over time to create a picture
of any structural or rhythmic changes that may or may not have occurred. If the
electrode positions are not consistent, morphology changes on the ECG may be seen.
Depending on the extent of the change in morphology this could lead to
misdiagnosis (Hill NE, 1987 ). A misdiagnosis wastes
NHS time and money not to mention the stress it would put the patient through
if they believed they had developed a heart condition.

The experiment was
intended to provide the group with a sound understanding of how the cardiac
axis differs in relation to changes in the arm lead electrode placement. This
better understanding will be useful in the future as not all patients will be
able to have their limb electrodes placed on their wrists. Such patients, for
example, include amputees, burn victims and people in casts. Even people with
neurological and motor system disorders such as Parkinson’s may not be able to
have electrodes placed on their wrists as a poor quality ECG could be obtained
due to the muscle tremor. In such a circumstance it would be prudent to weigh
up the benefits of using slightly altered precordial electrode positions rather
than obtaining a poor quality ECG that could be impossible to analyse. A better
understanding of the effects of changing the precordial electrode positions
would make this a more informed decision. In turn it would also improve our
ability as clinicians to draw conclusions from an ECG with altered arm lead
positions.

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Aim

The purpose
of the experiment was to conclude weather moving the ECG electrodes further up
the arm from the wrist at set intervals would cause a significant change in the
cardiac axis.

Null
hypothesis: Moving the ECG electrodes to positions further up the arm will have
no statistically significant effect on the mean frontal cardiac axis.