EKG Lab

Last class, we grouped off into groups of 3 and performed and EKG lab. According to  WedMD, an EKG test is a “test that checks for problems with the electrical activity in your heart.” This test sets up a series of sensors on an individual’s arms to test the person’s heart beat and is later analyzed to see if there are any irregularities. We have been learning more and more about heart disease and how dangerous and common it is among women in the United States (Mrs. Kahn told us it is the leading cause of death for women in the United States!). This lab not only helped familiarize ourselves with current technology (specific details follow) but it also taught us a lot about how to correctly analyze a EKG. For my group, I decided to volunteer!

To start our lab, each group got a school computer to open up LabQuest on. This application helps link the sensors that we placed on my arm to the computer screen to generate a visual display of my heart beat. My group partners Sophia and Tiffany helped with setting up. After I wiped my arms off with rubbing alcohol, they placed 3 electrode tabs onto my arms; one on my right wrist, one on my right upper inner forearm, and the last on my left upper inner forearm. It was important to push really hard on these tabs because the closer it was to the skin, the most accurate the reading. I sat relaxed while the application took my blood pressure. Below is a picture of the computers visual as well as a picture of how I looked being all connected to the machines!

IMG_6570 Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.23.42 PM

Here is the data I collected from the application:

interval Beginning time (s) Ending time (s) Total time (s)
P-R .1809 .2613 .0804
QRS .2613 .3618 .1005
Q-T .2613 .6499 .3886
R-R .3082 1.0921 .7839

From this data, I was able to see how long it took for one heart beat (R-R), which was .7839. From this, I divided 60/.7839 to see what my overall heart rate in beats per minute was, which was 77 BPM.

After that, our group switched the red and green sensors to emulate what the visual would appear to be if I was having a heart attack. The visual of that is below:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.23.35 PM

This swaps the waves forms of the R and T and it clearly does not look normal compared to my first picture.

Overal, this lab was extremely interesting and helped me understand in a better light my health and my heart. Being able to see my regular heart beats on a screen was very informative and helped me visually connect the dots with what we are learning in class to how it is applied in the real world. Looking at my heart diagram, it is clear that my heartbeat is perfectly healthy and normal. All the time intervals for each different measurement is within the average guidelines and my heartbeat looks stable, consistent, and normal.

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