Lifelink One Minute Drill: 12-lead ECGs in Suspected Cardiac Patients

Lifelink One Minute Drill: 12-lead ECGs in Suspected Cardiac Patients

Acquisition and Transmission:

Acquire and transmit the 12-lead ECG immediately after identifying a potential cardiac patient.  When possible, do this on-scene where the patient was found before moving the patient to the ambulance. If you cannot acquire and transmit from where the patient was found, move the patient to the ambulance and do it there immediately while stationary.

If the scene is a health care setting and a 12-lead ECG was performed prior to your arrival, perform an additional 12-lead ECG and transmit it.

12-lead vs 6-lead ECGs:

Do not perform a Quick-6! A Quick-6 is the terminology used by some in reference to performing an ECG of the limb and augmented limb leads only. A 6-lead ECG cannot “see” as large an area of the heart as a 12-lead. If you do a 6-lead ECG, you will miss infarcts in the precordial leads and these anatomic regions: septal, anterior, lower lateral

Key Points:

  • To diagnose a STEMI, you must acquire and transmit a 12-lead ECG immediately. Think about it before doing anything else.
  • Do not perform a “Quick-6” ECG. It wastes valuable time.