Can someone please give me some advice? I had a patient today who had tremors, similar to Parkinson's. When the tech was trying to get the ECG there was a lot of artifact. I had been told by another ECG tech that in cases like this, it was ok to gently hold the patient's affected limbs- not applying a lot of pressure, but just gently pressing, as this might help control the tremors. He also gave me the tip that it is sometimes helpful for the patient to put their forearms behind their back and lay back on them (assuming arm leads were placed up by the shoulders). When I suggested this to the tech and nurse today, they told me that you should never touch the patient at all- as touching them in any way would throw off the result. However, as soon as I gently pressed on the patient's legs, the tremors stopped and the ECG was perfect- no artifact at all. Can anyone tell me if touching the patient affects the ECG? Many thanks in advance for the insight.
Dec 23, '10
The hands behind the butt trick works pretty well. I was told you could touch the patient through a barrier. Lay a cloth or sheet over the legs and then put pressure that way.
Dec 25, '10
I touch pts all the time during EKGs.... It most definitely will NOT throw off the result! Lol. It's important for a good quality ekg to be obtained so you did the right thing.
Jan 2, '11
What has worked well for me is not to use limbs to obtain 12 lead with tremors, and document it. I will also use a blanket out of the warmer, use touch, and take my time. If your ekg unit has median to obtain a tracing use it, it works well to filter out artifact. I work in a cardiology practice.
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