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Cardiac Monitor 101 – Basics You Need to Know

By Daniel Barsh Subscribe to RSS | November 28th 2011 | Views:
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It will not be wrong or an overstatement if we say that cardiac monitor is a lifesaving device, which helps people with cardiac problem keep track of their cardiovascular health. This information is required to monitor or begin the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

A cardiac monitor monitors electrical and pressure waveforms generated by the cardiovascular system. It also works well in monitoring the respiratory system parameters. For the ease of measurement, the device is kept by the patient’s bedside, also because the patient and cardiac monitor are connected via several electrical nodes.

What is the use of a cardiac monitor

A cardiac monitor, when connected, displays the cardiac electrocardiogram (EKG) tracing on the screen. The device can also help in monitoring cardiac output and cardiovascular pressures, when additional monitoring component are used with it. The machine also monitors oxygen saturation in the arterial blood. It is primarily used in the emergency room and critical care units. The bedside monitors of several cardiac monitors can also be interconnected, so that the measurement of every patient can be seen on a central display. It eases the work of healthcare personal and helps them keep a close eye on each patient.

How it is used

A cardiac monitor is attached to the patient’s body using several electrodes, which helps the device monitor the electrical activity of the heart. The site where these electrodes are to be attached are shaved and cleaned to ensure that a better contact is established between the electrodes and the patient’s body. The electrode used in the process comes with a layer of gel, which is protected by a filmthat is later removed before an electrode is used.

The places where the electrodes are placed include: right leg, left leg, the center left side of the chest, left arm, and right arm (or near it).

What does a cardiac monitor displays

A cardiac monitor displays waveforms as well as the numeric values of various component of the cardiovascular system. The machine displays heart rate, blood temperature, arterial blood saturation, cardiac output, left atrial pressure, central venous pressure, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, pulmonary artery pressure, etc. the values produced by this device helps medical support staff and doctors calculate other vital values that will help doctors.

To get a proper measurement from the device, the patient needs to be motionless. The movement may cause errors in the reading. The support staff in a medical facility ascertains that the patient does not make unnecessary movements, and when it is needed the staff should help the patient in changing position.The number of monitoring equipment may get reduced when the condition of a patient improves, except arterial blood saturation probe and electrocardiogram, which remains attached until the patient is discharged.

As discussed above, a cardiac monitor is a lifesaving device which greatly helps patients suffering from cardiac problem. It is used by medical practitioners to gather information about the functioning of heart of a patient. It is commonly used in emergency rooms and critical care units.

Daniel Barsh - About Author:
Daniel Brash writes his review about Cardiac Monitor, and says that Cardiac Monitor which helps people with cardiac problem keep track of their cardiovascular health.

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