how remember ECG changes in electrolyte imbalance

  1. Hi

    can you help me how remember electrocardiographic changes in electrolyte imbalance?
    hypocalcemia,hpercalcemia,hypokalemia,hyperkalemia ,hypomagnesemia,hypermagnesemia?
    please help.thanks
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   moniqueforever
    rule of thumb. an increase or decrease will cause arrhythmias. increase will increase bp and a decrease will decrease bp
  4. by   Virgo_RN
    I don't think there is an easy way to remember each one.
  5. by   janina08RN
    Hypocalcemia- Prolonged ST and QT intervals

    Hypercalcemia- shortened ST segment
    - widened T wave

    Hypokalemia- ST depression
    - shallow, flat, inverted T wave
    - Prominent U wave

    Hyperkalemia- Tall, peaked T waves
    - Flat P waves
    - widened QRS complex
    - Prolonged PR interval

    Hypomagnesemia- Tall T waves
    - Depressed ST segment

    Hypermagnesemia- Prolonged PR interval
    - widened QRS complexes


    thought this might help...i dont know of any shortcuts though...
  6. by   FA2Z
    If you go further and make a table, You'll see some similarities and differences and I hope it'll help to remember.:wink2:
  7. by   re2021
    I BELIEVE THE BEST WAY TO REMEMBER IS TO UNDERSTAND WHY THE CHANGES OCCUR AND SEEING EXAMPLES. i HAVE A TEACHING WEB SITE WHICH CONTAINS A POWER POINT PRESENTATION ON BASIC EKG AND EARLY IN THE PROGRAM IS AN INTERNAL LINK TO ELECTROLYTE INDUCED EKG CHANGES. i HAVE USED THE programs TO TEACH NURSING AND MEDICAL STUDENTS. tHE SITE ALSO HAS AUSCULTATION PROGRAMS AND A SELF TEACHING VIRTUAL PEDIATRIC PATIENT

    https://www1.columbia.edu/sec/itc/hs...ds_cardiology/

    This for anyones use. I would appreciate feed back as to its usefulness and suggestions as I am constantly trying to improve the site.
  8. by   FA2Z
    thank you very much, but i could not open click here >> "internet explorer has restricted this webpage from running scripts..." i will try tomorrow.
  9. by   suzanne4
    It opens just fine and thank you for sharing it with the students that are here.
  10. by   december2905
    hi! hope this will help you...
    first, think of the normal ECG first...i made a poster that's really big and put it in my wall so i can see it always...
    think how it starts and end...so it starts with P followed by Q R S T

    so let's start from where it begins...

    P flat
  11. by   december2905
    hi! hope this will help you...
    first, think of the normal ecg first...i made a poster that's really big and put it in my wall so i can see it always...
    think how it starts and end...so it starts with p followed by q r s t

    so let's start from where it begins...

    p flat hyperkalemia

    pr prolonged hyperkalemia hypermagnesemia
    qrs widened hyperkalemia hypermagnesemia

    qt prolonged hypocalcemia
    st prolonged hypocacemia

    st shortened hypercalcemia

    st depressed hypokalemia hypomagnesemia

    t widened hypercalcemia

    t tall hyperkalemia hypomagnesemia

    t inverted hypokalemia
    shallow, flat

    u prominent hypokalemia
  12. by   crb613
    Quote from fa2z
    thank you very much, but i could not open click here >> "internet explorer has restricted this webpage from running scripts..." i will try tomorrow.
    i would not open for me either.
  13. by   sandtiger
    Quote from december2905
    hi! hope this will help you...
    first, think of the normal ecg first...i made a poster that's really big and put it in my wall so i can see it always...
    think how it starts and end...so it starts with p followed by q r s t

    so let's start from where it begins...

    p flat hyperkalemia

    pr prolonged hyperkalemia hypermagnesemia
    qrs widened hyperkalemia hypermagnesemia

    qt prolonged hypocalcemia
    st prolonged hypocacemia

    st shortened hypercalcemia

    st depressed hypokalemia hypomagnesemia

    t widened hypercalcemia

    t tall hyperkalemia hypomagnesemia

    t inverted hypokalemia
    shallow, flat

    u prominent hypokalemia

    this was excellent. many thanks.

    however, i'm still struggling with trying to understand why a certain electrolyte imbalance would cause the changes that it does. can someone provide an actual explanation of why the ecg changes happen? for example, since qrs represents ventricular depolarization, why would potassium excess cause a widened qrs?
    Last edit by sandtiger on Sep 23, '08
  14. by   oneforall
    thanks for those tips

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