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Abnormal EKG Readings

Getting an EKG is a part of most people's yearly check-up. An EKG is a type of medical equipment that shows how well the heart is functioning by measuring the electrical impulses. Most people have normal readings on their EKG, but sometimes there are abnormal EKG readings. There are many causes for abnormal EKG readings including a heart problem, low blood sugar and improper lead placement or another problem with the medical equipment itself.

Heart problems commonly produce abnormal EKG readings. If the doctor finds that you have an abnormal EKG due to a heart problem, he or she will most likely perform one again. If there is still a problem, he or she will most likely perform further testing.

Although heart problems are a common cause of abnormal EKG readings, they are not the only cause. If you have low blood sugar on the day your EKG is being performed, you will most likely have an abnormal heart rhythm. The abnormal heart rhythm will lead to an abnormal EKG. If you are a diabetic or someone who is prone to having low blood sugar, a small meal should be eaten one to two hours prior to having an EKG performed.

In order for the EKG to be accurate, the leads must be correctly placed. Failure to correctly place the leads can lead to an abnormal reading on the EKG. If you have been given a clean bill of health in the past, ask the doctor or technician to check the leads and make sure that they are placed correctly.

Sometimes, there may simply be problems with the medical equipment that produces an abnormal reading. This is especially true if it is used medical equipment. Faulty used medical equipment is a common problem that can produce skewed results.

One thing to remember about EKGs is that they are about 68% sensitive and 77% specific. Sensitivity is the ability to detect disease and specificity is the ability to rule out disease. If the technician or doctor is performing an EKG with used medical equipment, those numbers may be slightly lower. That is why it is important that all used medical equipment be evaluated for accuracy. This means that even if the leads are placed correctly and there is no problem with the medical equipment, EKGs are still not 100% accurate, which is something that medical practitioners are aware of.


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