Can You Spot the Difference in These EKG Tracings?

One of these tracings was made using expedient field electrodes.  Can you tell which one?

Recently, I wrote an article about constructing field expedient electrodes.  Shortly after that, I received numerous requests to show some tracings made with the make-shift electrodes.

Below are two tracings of lead II, taken with a Lifepack 15 cardiac monitor on the same patient (me) within just a few minutes of each other.  One of the tracings was obtained using commercial electrodes, and the other using the expedient field electrodes I explained how to make in my previous article.

test-1

Tracing #1 ⇑


test-2

Tracing #2 ⇑


Instead of only telling you which one is which, I thought it would be more interesting to hear which one YOU think is made with real electrodes and which is made with some 2x2s and lube.  So please cast your vote in the comment section below!  I have posted the answer at the bottom of this post, so try not to cheat when posting your comment!

Thanks for reading!  Please take a moment to my blog via e-mail if you haven’t done so already, and please share this post with your colleagues.  I am very interested to hear what people think!  Until next time, be safe and stay focused!

-Owen

P.S. You can help support the site by picking up a copy of my field reference guide, Pocket Paramedicine by clicking the image below!


Answer:

As promised, here are the actual identities of the tracings.  If you thought that tracing #2 had slightly lower amplitude P waves, a bit more artifact, and was, therefore, the tracing taken with the field expedient electrodes… you were wrong!  Tracing #1 was made using the make-shift electrodes, while #2 used commercial off the shelf electrodes.  Crazy right?

3 Replies to “Can You Spot the Difference in These EKG Tracings?”

  1. I actually thought the first one would be the field-made electrodes because I thought the lubricant jelly would be less dense and more conductive of electric signals, which would represent the higher amplitude p-waves. Of course, I found out immediately when I scrolled down. Either way, it’s an interesting question.

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