Patient Preparation

Proper preparation of the patient's skin is absolutely essential to obtaining a quality ECG recording. Note: without good skin preparation, both noise and artifact will frequently degrade the patient’s ECG to the point of being unusable by the physician

Materials Needed

a) For 12- channel recording, use ten (10) Silver-Silver chloride disposable pre-jelled electrodes designed for Stress testing. Do not use 12- lead resting ECG Electrodes
b) 4 x 4 Prep Pads c) Isopropyl Alcohol

Recommended Steps

a) Select the sites for electrode application. The electrodes must be applied over bone or cartilage. Refer to the Electrode Placement Charts (Figure 01)
b) Wipe the skin in the electrode areas with an alcohol prep pad
c) After allowing the skin to dry thoroughly, locate the electrode placement sites by palpation
d) Dry shave body hair and top skin layer from the electrode sites
e) Using a small square piece of an abrasive material (220 grit sandpaper or equivalent) and moderate pressure, abrade the skin at the electrode sites by making 3 or 4 crossing strokes. The strokes should cross at the chosen electrode site. Lightly brush the areas with a dry gauze pad to remove any debris
f) Connect the color coded snap-on lead wires to the appropriate electrodes before applying the electrodes to the patient
g) Once the backing is removed from each electrode, place it firmly on the prepared skin surface site. Tape leads onto electrodes
h) In order to prevent the lead from tugging directly on the electrodes, create a strain relief by looping each lead wire and placing a strip of adhesive tape over the loop as well as on the electrode