83 Year Old Male: Shortness of Breath

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You are called to the residence of an 83 year old male with a chief complaint of shortness of breath. On arrival you find a sick-appearing gentleman working hard to breath. He states that he woke up feeling a bit weak this morning with dyspnea-on-exertion that it has gotten progressively worse over past 12 hours—to […]

Understanding Amiodarone

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Recently, I was part of a short discussion between fellow healthcare providers of different levels of care, about Amiodarone and its expected effects on the heart during Ventricular Tachycardia (VT). I figured, I could break it down and write a short summary of how it works.  Most healthcare providers are familiar, or at least have […]

Calcium and Hyperkalemia

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“Calcium Chloride/Gluconate are used during Hyperkalemia induced ECG changes to reduce Serum Potassium.” The answer is:    False! The majority of Potassium in our body is found intracellular. Only a very small percentage (about 2%) is found extracellular, ranging between 3.5- 5.5 mEq/L. As extracellular Potassium levels increase, the action potential threshold decreases, for example, instead of […]

The 360 Degree Heart – Part II

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The first post in our “360 Degree Heart” series attempted to visualize how the different frontal plane (limb) leads relate to one another. We also introduced the concept of “negative leads,” which are just the standard leads flipped upside down. If you didn’t read that post it would probably be helpful to start there. This […]

68 y.o. male w/ weakness: conclusion – “Treat the monitor.”

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But perhaps not the computer… Recap of the case: A patient with CHF, COPD, and diabetes called after falling, apparently due to weakness. Their ECG was recorded by the paramedic: Interpretation: The underlying rhythm is unclear, due to artifact, but there are very wide QRS complexes. The computer measures the QRS as 158 ms, which […]

Conclusion: Rate Related VS Primary ST-T Changes

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  This is the conclusion to our previous case, “RATE RELATED VS PRIMARY ST-T CHANGES“. Check it out before you read the final portion.   This was the initial 12 lead ECG obtained by EMS prior ED arrival: There is an irregularly irregular tachycardia with no signs of P waves, which the Lifepak 15 determined to […]

68 y.o. male with weakness: “Treat the monitor, not the patient?”

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A recent graduate of our hospital’s paramedic program brought this case to me. Leigh works for Stratford EMS, an excellent local service in Southwestern Connecticut. (A quick note on the specific details of the case: This patient did not necessarily come to my hospital. Additionally, several features of the case have been altered; some to […]

Rate Related VS. Primary ST-T Changes:

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A 56 year old black male presents to the Emergency Department via EMS, complaining of Chest Pressure, 10/10 pain scale. Pain started suddenly following sudden onset of palpitations, while mowing his lawn. All approximately 5 minutes prior calling EMS. Keep in mind, it was a hot and sunny day with temperature in the 90′s. He advised of prior episodes of chest pressure […]

The 360 Degree Heart – Part I

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The hexaxial reference system. If I asked you to imagine how the limb leads “look” at the heart you would probably picture something like the image below: Notice those gaps in the limb leads? They don’t really exist; they’re an illusion. This isn’t something that is commonly emphasized when the cardiac axis is being taught […]

Conclusion: “And then I gave her a NTG…”

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Recap: From  Part 1: A 64 y.o. woman with typical symptoms of ACS was given nitroglycerin by the paramedic. Her ECG: ECG Interpretation: As noted by many of our astute readers, there is obvious ST-segment elevation (STE) in leads III and aVF. Lead II doesn’t show much STE, but relative to the small R wave […]

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EMS 12-Lead

Cardiac Rhythm Analysis, 12-Lead ECG Interpretation, Resuscitation

JEMS Talk: Google Hangout

The most awesome STEMI test on the internet!
Thanks for the app. It made me think about all that one may see in the field. The only problem was I never got a score or saw the results of how I did other than saying I had completed the test. Anyway a great way to get the old brain working.
2014-10-30 13:14:27
83 Year Old Male: Shortness of Breath
I mostly agree with dustin. I believe this is may be an isolated posterior MI. The R wave in V2 points to it being a posterior MI. otherwise it is a 1st degree av block with a LAHB. I am somewhat concerned with the concordant t segment depression noted and in fact if you were…
2014-10-30 04:22:44
Karl Brennan
Understanding Amiodarone
Great article , however in VF caused by hyperkalemia it should be avoided along with lidocaine , Since it shuts down the K channels, the eiteiology of the arrest hyper K, K channels are needed to exchange K in the cell. Calcium , Bicarbonate, dextrose and insulin should be used to decrease K levels along…
2014-10-30 03:04:45
83 Year Old Male: Shortness of Breath
I see a very sick and complicated patient. 12 Lead: ST elevation in AVR and V1 along with depression in I, II, V4-V6 leading me to an LMCA occlusion. The tall R wave in V2 also points me to Posterior involvement. Posterior MIs and LMCA occlusions can and do cause pulmonary edema, which this patient…
2014-10-30 02:38:21
83 Year Old Male: Shortness of Breath
Firstly, the patient is septic, he needs high flow O2 (which he's already receiving), IV fluids, blood cultures and antibiotics (most likely IV) and needs to be in resus sharpish. Secondly, the ECG needs doing again, V2 is wrong and I'm not sure where it's been placed to get that reading. Assuming the rest of…
2014-10-30 01:00:42

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