Heart and ECG Measurements basics
The heart is a pump made of muscle tissue; it's "beating" is controlled by electrical impulses generated by the body. The heart is divided into 2 parts (i.e. left & right) by the dividing septa. Each side of the heart has two chambers called the atrium and ventricle. These two cavities, the Atrium and ventricle are linked by a "check" valve that allows blood to flow only one way. The left atrium and ventricle control blood oxygenation in the lungs. The right atrium and ventricle control deoxygenated blood returned from the body.
The electrical impulses that cause the heart to beat spreads across the atria, causing the left and right atrium to contract. this squeezing moves or pumps blood into the left and right ventricles. The ventricles subsequently contract and pump blood out of the heart. The heart muscle then relaxes, allowing the blood to flow into the heart again.
An ECG monitor is able to capture and measure the electrical impulses as they pass across and through the heart. An ECG monitor simply measures the electrical activities, which cause the heart to contract and then relax.
ECG measurements can help qualified medical professionals to monitor your heart condition. The ECG measurements recorded by these ECG monitors are NOT designed or intended for medical diagnosis. Heart conditions, such as arrhythmia and ischemia can be diagnosed only by qualified medical professionals who are conducting thorough investigations and specific tests.
ECG Waveforms or "Traces"
The ECG waveform or trace depicts the rhythm of your heartbeat during the 30-second measurement and displays the electrical activities that caused the heart to beat. The waveform of each heartbeat shows the progress of the electrical impulses across and through the heart. Physicians will note the various effects as artifacts.
1. The first peak indicates the spread of the impulses from and over the atria and signifies the beginning of atrial contraction. This is known as the P wave.
2. The second peak indicates the spread of impulses over the ventricles and the beginning of ventricular contraction. This is known as the QRS complex.
3. The third peak indicates the electrical activity during heart relaxation and is known as the T wave.
What is Arrhythmia?
Arrhythmia is a condition characterized by an abnormal heartbeat rhythm due to flaws in the bio-electrical system that drives the heartbeat. Typical symptoms are missed heartbeats, premature contraction, an abnormally rapid pulse (tachycardia) or slow pulse (bradycardia). Arrhythmias can be caused by heart disease, ageing, physical predisposition, stress, lack of sleep, fatigue and other underlying problems. Arrhythmia can only be diagnosed by a doctor through a special examination.
What is Ischemia?
Ischemia is a condition in which insufficient oxygen is supplied to parts of the heart or other parts of the body. This is usually due to a blockage or partial blockage of an artery. Ischemia can only be diagnosed by a doctor through a special examination