Proper preparation of the patient’s skin is absolutely essential to obtaining a quality ECG recording.
Note: without good skin preparation, both noise and artifact will frequently degrade the patient’s ECG to the point of being unusable by the physician.
a) Select the sites for electrode application. The electrodes must be applied over bone or cartilage.
b) Wipe the skin in the electrode areas with an alcohol prep pad.
c) After allowing the skin to dry thoroughly, locate the electrode placement sites by palpation.
d) Dry shave body hair from the electrode sites.
e) Using a small square piece of an abrasive material (220 grit sandpaper or equivalent) and moderate pressure, abrade the skin at the electrode sites by making 3 or 4 crossing strokes. The strokes should cross at the chosen electrode site. Lightly brush the areas with a dry gauze pad to remove any debris.
f) Connect the color coded snap-on lead wires to the appropriate electrodes before applying the electrodes to the patient.
g) Once the backing is removed from each electrode, place it firmly on the prepared skin surface site. Tape leads onto electrodes.
h) In order to prevent the lead from tugging directly on the electrodes, create a strain relief by looping each
lead wire and placing a strip of adhesive tape over the loop as well as on the electrode.