Getting an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is standard treatment procedure for handling heart ailments. An electrocardiograph works to monitor your heart’s electrical activity and from the data printed out on the EKG strips, the doctor pinpoints distress signals such as abnormal rhythms caused by possible cardiac problems. In some disorders as in the case of mycardial infarction, recordings on the graph can actually determine which heart muscle is damaged.
How it works
These days, EKG readings can be recorded both through a computer and through EKG strips or graph paper. An ECG paper is composed of small blocks that measures 1 mm2. The electrocardiograph runs at a paper speed of 25mm/s and one small block of the paper translates into 40 ms. For each second, the ECG takes up a large 5×5 block.
A good EKG strip should have larger columns to accommodate drastic changes in electrical waves. The grid should also be printed in a bright and clear color. If you’re going to need recordings over a longer time frame, it’s much more advisable to get the rolled strips to reduce clutter. The rolled graphs are composed of continuous grids so you don’t have to keep on feeding fresh paper into the ECG. For short-term recordings, you can use the Z-fold strips that are manually fed into the machine each time that you need to take the patient’s ECG.
With an EKG graph paper, it’s easier to diagnose heart problems and identify their causes. While it is not capable of reading the pumping ability of the heart, the ECG is still considered one of the most important medical inventions to date.