Electrocardiograph (ECG or EKC) Machine

What is an electrocardiograph (ECG)machine?

An electrocardiograph machine is a device that measures and records electrical activity in the heart by the use of ECG pads placed on the chest and connected to wires, call leads. The leads are connected to a bedside monitor where the information is displayed. ECGs are usually measured in at least one view (i.e., one line on the monitor). Many doctors and nurses want more than one view, often as many as twelve views, also called leads. To measure these different views, ECG pads are placed on several parts of the body. The nurse determines where to place these pads based on the view of the heart that is desired.

When is an ECG machine used?

The type of ECG machine shown in the upper picture is used continuously on most patients in the ICU.

Does an ECG machine hurt?


Are there any potential complications associated with use of an ECG machine?


ECG tracing displayed on a monitor in green with a heart rate of 118 Close up of paper ECG tracing