ECG- Rate with Irregular Rhythm

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There are enquiries about how we should calculate the heart rate of a patient who have irregular rhythm from the ECG. Can the rule of 300 be applied?
I ask like that, the answer is sure to be....No.

Let's clarify something. Normally, when calculating the heart rate of a patient clinically, we calculate only for 15 seconds if it is of regular rhythm.
If irregular, naturally we have to take 1 minute.

So in the ECG, it would be ridiculous to order a 1 minute strip which will be like.......1 meter plus? Thus, we normally take a 6 second interval on the strip and multiply it by 10. That would give a rough estimation on heart rate.

Some lecturers prefer us to give a range from the lowest to highest heart rate. When taking the 6 second interval, we should include the highest and lowest interval. If this is impossible, take 2 and give range.

2 referrals:

Su Yan said...

I read in this book, I think ECG making sense.

Calculate the numbers of "R"s in 30 big boxes ( 0.2 x 30 = 6 secs)

Multiply by 10 to get 60 secs.

Su Yan said...

whoops....I was blind, didn't see Jeffrey's 3rd paragraph. ;p

But at least now i can confirm my source. Ha ha. Delete la the comment. and this too.