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EKGs are a common testing procedure administered by cardiologists and hospitals to help diagnose heart problems in patients. To ensure accurate readings and results, it is important for doctors and hospitals to ensure their EKG machine is kept in good condition and is functioning properly. Replacing an EKG machine at the proper time will help guarantee the most effective, accurate test results to patients.

What is an EKG Machine?

An EKG machine is used to administer an electrocardiogram. Commonly known as an EKG or ECG, this test is used to detect abnormal electronic activity of the heart which can be an indicator of many different heart problems including signs of a recent heart attack, heart disease, or heart inflammation. It is a safe, non-invasive procedure that can be done at a hospital or in a cardiologists office.

The Procedure

An electrocardiogram test is administered by placing small EKG electrodes or leads on specific parts of the patients skin to measure the electronic activity of the heart. The number of leads can range anywhere from three to five, or even up to 12. The leads are placed on different areas of the body including the arms, legs, and chest. The electrodes are also attached by long wires to the EKG machine which reads the electronic signals from each lead and prints the results out on a graph for the doctor to interpret. The actual test only takes about 60 seconds to obtain a reading.

The EKG Machine

There are many different EKG machines available, but all consist of mostly the same parts. Each one has multiple electrodes that attach to the patients skin and are connected by a wire to the main unit. Each machine also has a main unit that consists of a display screen, electronic sensors to read the signals from each lead, and a printer and EKG paper to print the results of the test. Some EKG machines are small and portable, ideal for emergency units or traveling doctors, and others are larger and best suited for an office or hospital.

Replacing Your EKG Machine

Most EKG machines will function well for years if they are given the proper care and maintenance. However, there are some signs that an individual may need an EKG machine replacement.These include:-worn or frayed wires connecting the electrodes to the main unit-evidence of wear on the electrode heads-repeated error signals on the display unit (refer to the machines user manual for troubleshooting and assistance advice)-printer errors on the test graph including smudges, blank lines, or ink spots-printer feed errors or constant paper jams-inconsistent readings or a failure to read the electronic signals.

If any of these problems are occurring with the EKG machine, it is probably time to consider an EKG machine replacement. The good news is new models are constantly being developed with improved accuracy, readings, and functions to enhance the testing capabilities.