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Electrocardiograms are used to obtain information about the function of the heart An ECG is a recording of the electrical activity of the heart made from electrodes placed on the surface of the skin Salt solutions are good conductors of electricity and can transfer electrical activity to the skins surface An ECG tracing shows the sum of the electrical potentials generated by all the cells of the heart at any moment Silverthorn 1998 Each point reflects depolarization or repolarization of a portion of the heart Depolarization is the signal for contraction There are three major components of an ECG the p waves which corresponds to depolarization of the atria Silverthorn 1998 The qrs complex represents the progressive wave of ventricular depolarization Silverthorn 1998 And the t wave represents the repolarization of the ventricles When recording an ECG one active surface electrode is the positive and the other electrode is negative while the third electrode is inactive These electrodes are known as leads Twelve leads are now used to record ECG the three limb electrodes plus the nine more electrodes placed on the chest and trunk ECGS recorded from the different lead look different and give information about different regions of the heart Purves 1998 An ECG provides information on heart rate and rhythm conduction velocity and even the condition of the tissues within the heart Although obtaining and ECG is simple interpreting some of its subtleties can be quite complicatedTo understand the electrical and mechanical events accociated with an ECG tracing DiFiori and Jarrell 1998 To record and interpret ECG tracings under a variety of physiological situations DiFiori and Jarrell 1998 To determine how changes in an ECG can lead to changes in the heart rate DiFiori and Jarrell 19981 What is the effect of the heart rate on a person who is sitting as opposed to exercisingthe heart rate is faster in a person who is exercising2 What is the effect of the
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