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The electrocardiogram (EKG) is a device used for monitoring the heart’s physiological state by recording the nature of the heart’s beat. The term “EKG” is the German version of the word “electrocardiograph.” The heart’s movement is characterized by electrical impulses. These impulses are generated within the heart and spread around the body through the heart’s tissue. Some of the charges reach the skin and the EKG picks up the signal for interpretation (Thaler 30). The health state of the heart is determined by the basal heart rate, consistency of the heartbeat, and nature of the pulse. The heart operates in a contracting and relaxing motion to expel and let blood flow into its chambers alternately. This movement is initiated by voltage changes within the heart. The tissues of the heart will be charged or polarized during a relaxation. The pulse of discharge arising from the sinoatrial node or the sinus node in the heart induces a contraction. The recharge of heart muscles result in the relaxation of its tissues. This process occurs alternately at different speeds depending on the body’s demand for blood supply. The rate of the heartbeat, known as the pace, is determined by the rate of electrical impulses. In addition, the EKG can be used to determine the position of the heart as this is an important consideration in cardiac health. Moreover, the expanse of the heart’s chambers can be determined using the EKG (Thaler 22). However, this device has a major limitation as it cannot be used to define the strength of the cardiac tissue.
The EKG device can be worn on the wrist, chest or both when in use. The transmitted signal is observed on the display of this device for external application. Otherwise, an advanced display device may be used in hospitals instead of the wrist device (Thaler 36). The wave representing the heart’s pumping action is recorded on a paper or a screen and the shape of the wave is interpreted to determine the heart’s condition. The sections of the wave representing the ventricular charge and discharge can be identified from the amplitude and wavelength of the different parts of the wave. Similarly, the contraction and relaxation of the atria can be defined. Deflections on the wave patterns are used to differentiate the ventricular and auricular activity. For the EKG to obtain accurate information regarding the heart’s activities, several sensors called “leads” have to be placed on the human body. In addition, the placement of these leads has to be precise to obtain accurate information. The left ventricle of the heart is usually bigger than the right one hence the part of the wave representing each ventricle can be identified through the analysis of the magnitude of the wave (Thaler 36).
The EKG device is used for diagnostic procedures and often when analyzing the functioning and ailments associated with the heart. It is also used to detect and gauge the level of hypertrophy of the heart. Generally, hypertrophy refers to the enlargement of muscles. Regarding the heart, hypertrophy refers to the enlargement of the cardiac muscles especially due to strenuous physical exercise (Thaler 38).
In conclusion, there are detailed facts that I have learned concerning the EKG and the heart. First, the EKGs are simple devices that give insight to the human’s heart condition without having to perform surgery or any imaging procedure. Furthermore, the interpretation of the EKGs does not need any expert skills and any person with basic literacy can use it to monitor the condition of his or her heart. The use of EKG can help to avoid serious heart diseases as it warns a developing heart condition beforehand.