Basic Cardiac Rhythms - Identification and Response

Basic Cardiac Rhythms - Identification and Response

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Description: Describe the normal cardiac anatomy and physiology and normal electrical conduction through the heart. Identify and relate waveforms to the cardiac cycle. Anatomy Coronary Arteries:- 2 major vessels of the coronary circulation.

Left main coronary artery, Left anterior descending and circumflex branches, Right main coronary artery, The left and right coronary arteries originate at the base of the aorta from openings called the coronary ostia behind the aortic valve leaflets.

 
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Contents:
Basic Cardiac
Rhythms –
Identification
and Response

Module 1
ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, &
ELECTRICAL CONDUCTION

Objectives
▪ Describe the normal cardiac anatomy and physiology and normal
electrical conduction through the heart.
▪ Identify and relate waveforms to the cardiac cycle.

Cardiac Anatomy
▪ 2 upper chambers
▪ Right and left atria

▪ 2 lower chambers
▪ Right and left ventricle

▪ 2 Atrioventricular valves (Mitral &
Tricuspid)
▪ Open with ventricular diastole
▪ Close with ventricular systole

▪ 2 Semilunar Valves (Aortic & Pulmonic)
▪ Open with ventricular systole
▪ Open with ventricular diastole

The Cardiovascular System
▪ Pulmonary Circulation
▪ Unoxygenated – right side of the heart

▪ Systemic Circulation
▪ Oxygenated – left side of the heart

Anatomy
Coronary Arteries

How The Heart Works

Anatomy
Coronary Arteries
▪ 2 major vessels of the coronary circulation
▪ Left main coronary artery
▪ Left anterior descending and circumflex branches

▪ Right main coronary artery

▪ The left and right coronary arteries originate at the base of the
aorta from openings called the coronary ostia behind the aortic
valve leaflets.

Physiology
Blood Flow
Unoxygenated blood flows from
inferior and superior vena cava
Right Atrium

Tricuspid Valve
Right Ventricle
Pulmonic Valve
Lungs
Through Pulmonary system

Physiology
Blood Flow
Oxygenated blood flows from the
pulmonary veins
Left Atrium

Mitral Valve
Left Ventricle
Aortic Valve
Systemic Circulation
▪ Blood Flow Through The Heart
▪ Cardiology Rap

Physiology
▪ Cardiac cycle
▪ Represents the actual time sequence between ventricular contraction
and ventricular relaxation

▪ Systole
▪ Simultaneous contraction of the ventricles

▪ Diastole
▪ Synonymous with ventricular relaxation
▪ When ventricles fill passively from the atria to 70% of blood capacity

Physiology
▪ Heart rate (HR)
▪ Number of contractions (beats per minute)
▪ Normal heart rate is 60 – 100 beats per minute (bpm)

▪ Stroke volume (SV)
▪ Volume of blood being pumped out of ventricles in a single beat or
contraction
▪ Normal stroke volume is 60 – 130 mL

Physiology
▪ Cardiac output (CO)
▪ Amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle in one minute
▪ Normal cardiac output is 4 – 8 L/min

Cardiac Output =

Stroke Volume x Heart Rate

**Our Swan boxes give us a continuous cardiac output reading!

Physiology
▪ Pre-load
▪ Volume and stretch of the ventricular myocardium at the end of
diastole

▪ After-load
▪ Amount of pressure against which the left ventricle must work during
systole to open the aortic valve
▪ Clinically measure by systolic blood pressure

Normal Electrical Conduction System
SA node

Inter-nodal pathways
AV node
Bundle of his
Left & Right bundle branches
Purkinje fibers

The SA Node and the AV Node

Electrical Conduction System
EKG Waveforms

One complete cardiac cycle =

P, Q, R, S, (QRS complex),
and T wave

Electrical Conduction System
EKG Waveforms
▪ P wave
▪ Atrial depolarization (contraction)

▪ QRS Complex
▪ Ventricular depolarization, atrial repolarization

▪ T wave
▪ Ventricular repolarization (resting phase)

Module 2
INTERPRETING EKG
RHYTHM STRIPS

Objectives
▪ Utilize a systematic process when approaching the interpretation
of the EKG.
▪ Identify normal and abnormal components on the EKG.

EASI Lead

Lead Placement

Color Code

E Brown: Lower sternum (5th intercostal
space)

A Red: Left mid-axillary line (5th
intercostal space)
S Black: Upper sternum (just below sternal
angle)
I White: Right mid-axillary line (5th
intercostal space)
Green: Anywhere

Electrical Conduction Systems
EKG Waveforms

Reading EKG Graph Paper
Graph paper allows a visual
measurement of:
▪ Time (rate)
▪ Measured on the horizontal line

▪ Amplitude (voltage)
▪ Measured on the vertical line

Reading EKG Graph Paper
Paper divided into small squares:

▪ Width = 1 millimeter (mm)
▪ Time interval = 0.04 seconds

▪ 1 small square = 0.04 seconds

Reading EKG Graph Paper
Darker lines divide paper into every 5th
square vertically and horizontally:
▪ Large squares measure 5 mm in
height and width
▪ Represents time interval of 0.20 seconds
▪ 25 small squares in each large square

▪ 1 large square = 0.20 seconds

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
▪ First and most important
▪ ASSESS YOUR PATIENT!!

▪ Read every strip from left to right, starting at the beginning of the
strip

▪ Apply the five-step systematic approach that you will learn in this
module for consistency with each strip that you interpret

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
The Five Step Approach
The five-step approach, in order of application, includes analysis of
the following:
1. Heart rate
2. Heart rhythm
3. P wave

4. PR interval
5. QRS complex

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 1 – Heart Rate
▪ Count the number of electrical impulses as represented by PQRST
complexes conducted through the myocardium in 60 seconds (1 minute)
▪ Atrial rate: Count the number of P waves
▪ Ventricular rate: Count the number of QRS complexes

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 1 – Heart Rate
Methods to determine heart rate
▪ The 6 second method
▪ Denotes a 6 second interval on EKG strip
▪ Strip is marked by 3 or 6 second tick marks on the top or bottom of the graph
paper
▪ Count the number of QRS complexes occurring within the 6 second interval,
and then multiply that number by 10

▪ Using rate determination chart
▪ More accurate calculation of HR
▪ Preferred method
▪ Must use this method for the test!!

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 1 – Heart Rate
▪ 6 second method

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 1 – Heart Rate
▪ Using rate determination chart

▪ Count spaces between R to R

▪ Find number of spaces on the chart
to determine the rate

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 1 – Heart Rate
▪ Example:

1. Find an R to R

2. Count the small boxes between the R’s = 15

3. On the chart find “15 spaces” = 100bpm

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 2 – Rhythm
▪ Rhythm
▪ A sequential beating of the heart as a result of the generation of electrical
impulses
▪ Classified as:
▪ Regular pattern: Interval between the R waves is regular
▪ Irregular pattern: Interval between the R waves is not regular

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 2 – Rhythm
▪ Measuring a Regular Rhythm
▪ Measure the intervals between R waves (measure from R to R)
▪ If the intervals vary by less than 0.06 seconds or 1.5 small boxes, the rhythm is
considered to be regular

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 2 – Rhythm
▪ Measuring an Irregular Rhythm
▪ If the intervals between the R waves (from R to R) are variable by greater than
0.06 seconds or 1.5 small boxes, the rhythm is considered to be irregular

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 3 – P Wave
▪ P wave is produced when the left and right atria depolarize





First deviation from the isoelectric line
Should be rounded and upright
P wave is the SA node pacing or firing at regular intervals
This pattern is referred to as a sinus rhythm

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 3 – P Wave
▪ P wave: 5 questions to ask
1.
2.
3.
4.

Are P waves present?
Are P waves occurring regularly?
Is there one P wave present for every QRS complex present?
Are the P waves smooth, rounded, and upright in appearance, or are they
inverted?
5. Do all P waves look similar?

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 4 – PR Interval
▪ Measures the time interval from the
onset of atrial contraction to onset of
ventricular contraction
▪ Measured from onset of P wave to the
onset of the QRS complex

▪ Normal interval is 0.12–0.20 seconds
(3-5 small squares)

Measuring PR Interval:

Red lines indicate where calipers would be placed to measure PR interval

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 4 – PR Interval
▪ PR interval: 3 questions to ask
1. Are the PR intervals greater than 0.20 seconds?

2. Are the PR intervals less than 0.12 seconds?
3. Are the PR intervals consistent across the EKG strip?

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 5 – QRS Complex
▪ The QRS complex presents
depolarization or contraction of the
ventricles
▪ Q wave
▪ First negative or downward deflection of this
large complex

▪ R wave
▪ First upward or positive deflection following the
P wave (tallest waveform)

▪ S wave
▪ The sharp, negative or downward deflection
that follows the R wave

▪ Normal interval is 0.06-0.12 seconds
(1 ½ to 3 small boxes)

Measuring QRS complex:

Red lines indicate where calipers should be placed to measure QRS

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Step 5 – QRS Complex
▪ QRS complex: 3 questions to ask
1. Are the QRS complexes greater than 0.12 seconds (in width)?

2. Are the QRS complexes less than 0.06 seconds (in width)?
3. Are the QRS complexes similar in appearance across the EKG strip?

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Practice Strip

1. HR = # of boxes between R’s = 19 spaces = 79bpm
2. Rhythm = regular or irregular = regular (R-R’s are equal)
3. P waves = P wave for every QRS? = yes

4. PR interval = measure from beginning of P to beginning of QRS = 0.16
5. QRS = measure from start of Q to end of S = 0.08

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
T Wave
▪ Produced by ventricular repolarization
or relaxation
▪ Commonly seen as the first upward or
positive deflection following the QRS
complex

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
U Wave
▪ Usually not visible on EKG strips

▪ If visible, typically follows the T wave
▪ Appears much smaller than T wave,
rounded, upright, or positive deflection
is they are present
▪ Cause or origin not completely
understood
▪ May indicate hypokalemia

Interpreting EKG Rhythm Strips
Artifact
▪ EKG waveforms from sources outside the heart
▪ Interference is seen on the monitor or EKG strip
▪ 4 causes





Patient movement (most common)
Loose or defective electrodes (fuzzy baseline)
Improper grounding (60 cycle interference)
Faulty EKG apparatus

Module 3
SINUS RHYTHMS

Objectives
▪ Recognize sinus dysrhythmias on EKG and relate cause,
significance, symptoms, and treatment.

Sinus Rhythms
♥ Rhythms that originate in the sinoatrial node (SA node)
♥ 5 Common Variations of a sinus rhythm:

• Normal sinus rhythm (60 – 100 bpm)
• Sinus bradycardia (< 60 bpm)
• Sinus tachycardia ( >100 bpm)
• Sinus arrhythmia (60 – 100 bpm)
• Sinus pause/arrest

Normal Sinus Rhythm
Sinus rhythm is the normal regular rhythm of the heart set by the natural
pacemaker of the heart called the sinoatrial node. It is located in the wall of the
right atrium. Normal cardiac impulses start there and are transmitted to the
atria and down to the ventricles.

5 Steps to Identify Normal Sinus Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

60-100 beats per minute

2. What is the rhythm?

Atrial rhythm regular
Ventricular rhythm regular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

Yes

Yes
4. What is the length of the PR interval?

0.12-0.20 seconds (3-5 small squares)

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Yes
0.06-0.12 seconds (1 ½ to 3 small squares)

Normal Sinus Rhythm Nursing Interventions
▪ No interventions required!! Monitor patient if ordered by physician.

Sinus Bradycardia
Sinus bradycardia is a regular but unusually slow heart beat (less than
60 bpm). Sinus bradycardia is often seen as a normal variation in
athletes, during sleep, or in response to a vagal maneuver.

5 Steps to Identify Sinus Bradycardia Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

Less than 60 beats per minute

2. What is the rhythm?

Atrial rhythm regular
Ventricular rhythm regular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

Yes
Yes

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

0.12-0.20 seconds (3-5 small squares)

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Yes

0.06-0.12 seconds (1 ½ to 3 small squares)

Causes and S/S of Sinus Bradycardia
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Hypoglycemia

▪ Syncope

▪ Hypothermia

▪ Dizziness

▪ Hypothyroidism

▪ Chest Pain

▪ Previous cardiac history

▪ Shortness of Breath

▪ Medications

▪ Exercise Intolerance

▪ Toxic exposure

▪ Cool, clammy skin

▪ MI – Inferior wall involving right
coronary artery

Risk and Medical Tx of Sinus Bradycardia
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Reduced Cardiac Output

▪ Atropine
▪ Pacing if the patient is
hemodynamically compromised
▪ Treatment will be based on whether
patient is symptomatic

Sinus Bradycardia Nursing Interventions
Assess patient – Are they symptomatic?
Give oxygen and monitor oxygen saturation
Monitor blood pressure and heart rate
Start IV if not already established

Notify MD

Sinus Tachycardia
Sinus Tachycardia is a fast heartbeat related to a rapid firing of the
sinoatrial (SA) node. The clinical dysrhythmia depends on the underlying
cause. It may be normal depending on the patient.

5 Steps to Identify Sinus Tachycardia Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

101-160 beats per minute

2. What is the rhythm?

Atrial rhythm regular
Ventricular rhythm regular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

Yes
Yes

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

0.12-0.20 seconds (3-5 small squares)

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Yes
0.06-0.12 seconds (1 ½ to 3 small squares)

Causes and S/S of Sinus Tachycardia
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Damage to heart tissues from heart disease

▪ Dizziness

▪ Hypertension

▪ Shortness of breath

▪ Fever

▪ Lightheadedness

▪ Stress

▪ Rapid pulse rate

▪ Excess alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, or
recreational drugs such as cocaine

▪ Heart palpitations

▪ A side effect of medications
▪ Response to pain
▪ Imbalance of electrolytes
▪ Hyperthyroidism

▪ Chest pain
▪ Syncope

Risk and Medical Tx of Sinus Tachycardia
Risk

▪ Cardiac output may fall due to
inadequate ventricular filling time
• Myocardial oxygen demand increases
• Can precipitate myocardial ischemia
or infarct

Medical Treatment

• Aimed at finding and treating cause

Sinus Tachycardia Nursing Interventions
Assess patient – Are they symptomatic? Are they stable?
Give oxygen and monitor oxygen saturation
Monitor blood pressure and heart rate

Start IV if not already established
Notify MD
ACLS Protocol
 Look for the cause of the tachycardia and treat it
 Fever – give acetaminophen or ibuprofen
 Stimulants – stop use (caffeine, OTC meds, herbs, illicit drugs)

 Anxiety – give reassurance or ant-anxiety medication
 Sepsis, Anemia, Hypotension, MI, Heart Failure, Hypoxia

 Narrow QRS Complexes – consider vagal maneuvers, adenosine, beta blocker, calcium channel blocker,
or synchronized cardioversion
 Wide QRS Complexes – consider anti-arrhythmic such as procainamide, amiodarone, or sotalol

Sinus Arrhythmia
▪ Sinus arrhythmia is a normal variation in the beating of your heart. A sinus
arrhythmia refers to an irregular or disorganized heart rhythm.

▪ This rate usually increases with inspiration and decreases with expiration.

5 Steps to Identify Sinus Arrhythmias
1. What is the rate?

60-100 beats per minute

2. What is the rhythm?

Irregular (varies more than 0.08 sec)

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

Yes
Yes

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

0.12-0.20 seconds (3-5 small squares)

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Yes
0.06-0.12 seconds (1 ½ to 3 small
squares)

Causes and S/S of Sinus Arrhythmia
Cause

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Heart disease

▪ Usually asymptomatic

▪ Moderate to extreme stress
▪ Excessive consumption of stimulants
like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
▪ Intake of medications like diet pills as
well as cough and cold medicines

Risk and Medical Tx of Sinus Arrhythmia
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Reduced cardiac output

▪ Treatment is usually not required
unless patient is symptomatic. If
patient is symptomatic, find and treat
the cause.

Sinus Arrest or Pause
A sinus pause or arrest is defined as the transient absence of sinus P waves that
last from 2 seconds to several minutes.

5 Steps to Identify Sinus Arrest Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

Variable, depending on frequency

2. What is the rhythm?

Irregular, when sinus arrest is present

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

Yes, if QRS is present

Yes, if QRS is present
4. What is the length of the PR interval?

0.12-0.20 seconds (3-5 small squares)

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Yes, when present

0.06-0.12 seconds (1 ½ to 3 small
squares)

Causes and S/S of Sinus Pause/Arrest
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ This may occur in individuals with
healthy hearts during sleep

▪ Sometimes asymptomatic

▪ Myocarditis

▪ Cardiomyopathy
▪ MI
▪ Digitalis toxicity
▪ Age- elderly
▪ Vagal stimulation

▪ Syncope
▪ Dizziness
▪ LOC
▪ Bradycardia

Risk and Medical Tx of Sinus Pause/Arrest
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Sudden cardiac death (rare)

▪ Only treated if patient
symptomatic

▪ Syncope
▪ Fall
▪ Thromboembolic events including stroke
▪ CHF
▪ Atrial tachyarrhythmias - such as atrial
flutter or fibrillation

▪ Atropine
▪ Pacemaker

Sinus Pause/Arrest Nursing Interventions
Assess Patient
Give oxygen and monitor oxygen saturation
Monitor blood pressure and heart rate
Start IV if not already established
Notify MD
ACLS Protocol
 Look for the cause of the sinus arrest and treat it
 Medication

 Electrolyte imbalance
 Natural deterioration of the cardiac system

 May require artificial pacemaker for treatment if symptomatic

Let’s Practice!!

References
E-Medicine Health (2012). Retrieved from
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/script/main/hp.asp
Heart Start Skills (2009). Retrieved from

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nhThfSWU7U&feature=autoplay&list=UUDG
8UqA26LciIovorpr_bJQ&playnext=3
MedicineNet.com (2012). Cardiac arrhythmias. Retrieved from
http://www.medicinenet.com
Medscape (2012). Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com

Module 4
ATRIAL RHYTHMS

Learning Outcomes


Identify specific cardiac dysrhythmias



Describe the appropriate nursing interventions for specific
dysrhythmias

Atrial Rhythms
♥ When the sinoatrial (SA) node fails to generate an impulse; atrial
tissues or internodal pathways may initiate an impulse
♥ The 4 most common atrial arrhythmias include:

• Atrial Flutter (rate varies; usually regular; saw-toothed)
• Atrial Fibrillation (rate varies, always irregular)
• Supraventricular Tachycardia (>150 bpm)
• Premature Atrial Complexes (PAC’s)

Atrial Flutter
▪ Atrial flutter is a coordinated rapid beating of the atria. Atrial flutter is the
second most common tachyarrhymia.

F waves in sawtooth pattern

5 Steps to Identify Atrial Flutter Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

Atrial: 250-400 bpm
Ventricular: variable

2. What is the rhythm?

Atrial: regular
Ventricular: may be irregular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

Normal P waves are absent;
flutter waves (f waves)
(sawtooth pattern)

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

Not measurable

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?

Yes

What is the length of the QRS complexes?

0.06-0.12 seconds (1 ½ to 3 small
squares)

Causes and S/S of Atrial Flutter
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ > 60 years old

• Palpitations

▪ Valve disorder (mitral)

• SOB

▪ Thickening of the heart muscle

• Anxiety

▪ Ischemia

• Weakness

▪ Cardiomyopathy

• Angina

▪ COPD

• Syncope

▪ Emphysema

Risk and Medical Tx for Atrial Flutter
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Clot formation in atria (atria not
completely emptying)

▪ Cardioversion – treatment of choice

▪ Stroke
▪ Pulmonary Embolism

▪ Dramatic drop in cardiac output

▪ Antiarrhymics such as procainamide
to convert the flutter
▪ Slow the ventricular rate by using
diltiazem, verapamil, digitalis, or beta
blocker
▪ Heparin to reduce incidence of
thrombus formation

Atrial Flutter Nursing Interventions
▪ Assess Patient
▪ O2 if not already given

▪ Start IV if not already established and hang NS
▪ Notify MD
▪ Prepare for cardioversion

Atrial Fibrillation
The electrical signal that circles uncoordinated through the muscles of the atria
causing them to quiver (sometimes more than 400 times per minute) without
contracting. The ventricles do not receive regular impulses and contract out of
rhythm, and the heartbeat becomes uncontrolled and irregular. It is the most
common arrhythmia, and 85 percent of people who experience it are older than
65 years.

No distinguishable P waves

5 Steps to Identify Atrial Fibrillation Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

Atrial: 350-400 bpm
Ventricular: variable

2. What is the rhythm?

Irregularly irregular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?

Normal P waves are absent; replaced by f
waves

Are P waves upright and uniform?
4. What is the length of the PR interval?

Not discernable

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?

Yes

What is the length of the QRS complexes?

0.06-0.12 seconds (1 ½ to 3 small squares)

Causes and S/S of Atrial Fibrillation
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Hypoxia

▪ Heart palpitations

▪ Hypertension

▪ Irregular pulse which feels too rapid or too
slow, racing, pounding or fluttering

▪ Congestive heart failure
▪ Coronary artery disease
▪ Dysfunction of the sinus node

▪ Mitral valve disorders
▪ Rheumatic heart disease
▪ Pericarditis
▪ Hyperthyroidism
▪ Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption

▪ Dizziness or light-headedness
▪ Fainting
▪ Confusion
▪ Fatigue
▪ Trouble breathing

▪ Difficulty breathing when lying down
▪ Sensation of tightness in the chest

Risk and Medical Tx of Atrial Fibrillation
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Clot formation in atria (atria not
completely emptying)

▪ Rate control

▪ Stroke
▪ Pulmonary Embolism

▪ Dramatic drop in cardiac output

(slow ventricular rate to 80-100
beats/minute)
▪ Digoxin
▪ Beta-adrenergic blockers
▪ Calcium channel blockers
▪ Example - Verapamil (give IV if needed
for quick rate control)

▪ Antithrombotic therapy
▪ Correction of rhythm
▪ Chemical or electrical cardioversion

Atrial Fibrillation Nursing Interventions
▪ Assess Patient
▪ O2 if not already given
▪ Start IV if not already established and hang NS
▪ Notify MD
▪ Prepare for cardioversion

▪ Let’s see more

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)
▪ Encompasses all fast (tachy) dysrhythmias in which heart rate is
greater than 150 beats per minute (bpm)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0YjiPTd55k&feature=channel&list=UL

5 Steps to Identify Supraventricular Tachycardia Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

Atrial: 150-250 bpm
Ventricular: 150-250 bpm

2. What is the rhythm?

Regular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

Usually not discernable, especially at the
high rate range
(becomes hidden in the QRS)

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

Usually not discernable

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Yes

0.06-0.12 seconds (1 ½ to 3 small squares)

Causes and S/S of SVT
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Find underlying cause

▪ Palpitations

• Stimulants

▪ Chest discomfort (pressure, tightness, pain)

• Hypoxia

▪ Lightheadedness or dizziness

• Stress or over-exertion

▪ Syncope

• Hypokalemia

▪ Shortness of breath

• Atherosclerotic heart disease

▪ A pounding pulse.
▪ Sweating
▪ Tightness or fullness in the throat
▪ Tiredness (fatigue)

▪ Excessive urine production

Risk and Medical Tx of SVT
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Heart failure with prolonged SVT

▪ Stable patient’s (asymptomatic)
▪ Vagal maneuvers

▪ Drug management
▪ Adenosine

▪ Cardioversion if unstable

SVT Nursing Interventions
▪ Assess Patient
▪ O2 if not already given
▪ Vagal maneuvers (cough and valsalva)
▪ Start IV if not already established and hang NS
▪ Notify MD
▪ Prepare for cardioversion

Premature Atrial Contractions (PAC’s)
▪ A PAC is not a rhythm, it is an ectopic beat that originates from the atria.
▪ Normal beat, but just occurs early!

5 Steps to Identify Premature Atrial Contraction (PAC)
1. What is the rate?

Usually regular but depends on the underlying
rhythm

2. What is the rhythm?

Irregular as a result of the PAC

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

Usually upright but premature and abnormal
shape

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

0.12-0.20 seconds (3-5 small boxes)

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?

Yes

What is the length of the QRS complexes?

0.06-0.12 seconds (1 ½ to 3 small squares)

Cause and S/S PAC’s
Cause

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Occurs in healthy patients without
heart disease

▪ Palpitations

▪ Stress

▪ Stimulants
▪ Hypertension

▪ Valvular condition
▪ Infectious diseases
▪ Hypoxia

▪ Skipped beat

Risk and Medical Tx PAC’s
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Most benign – no risk

▪ No treatment necessary if
asymptomatic

▪ May be a sign of underlying heart
condition

▪ Treat the cause
▪ Drug therapy
▪ Beta Blockers
▪ Calcium Channel Blockers

PAC Nursing Interventions
▪ Assess patient
▪ Monitor patient

Let’s Practice!!

References
E-Medicine Health (2012). Retrieved from
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/script/main/hp.asp
Heart Start Skills (2009). Retrieved from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nhThfSWU7U&feature=autoplay&list=UUDG8
UqA26LciIovorpr_bJQ&playnext=3

Module 5
VENTRICULAR RHYTHMS

Objectives
▪ Recognize ventricular dysrhythmias on EKG and relate cause,
significance, symptoms, and treatment.

Ventricular Rhythms
♥ When the sinoatrial (SA) node and the AV Junctional tissues fails to generate an
impulse the ventricles will assume the role of pacing the heart

♥ There is an absence of P waves because there is no atrial activity or
depolarization

♥ Ventricular rhythms will display QRS complexes that are wide (greater than or
equal to 0.12 seconds) and bizarre in appearance

Ventricular Rhythms
The most common variations:
♥ Premature ventricular contractions (PVC’s)
These 8 rhythms are the lethal ones: KNOW THESE
♥ Idioventricular rhythm (ventricular escape rhythm; rate usually >20 – 40 bpm)
♥ Agonal rhythm (20 or less bpm)
♥ Ventricular tachycardia (>150 bpm)
♥ Ventricular fibrillation
♥ Torsades de Pointes
♥ Pulseless Electrical Activity (PEA)
♥ Asystole - Cardiac Standstill

Premature Ventricular Contractions
▪ A PVC is not a rhythm, but an ectopic beat that arises from an irritable site in
the ventricles.
▪ PVCs appear in many different patterns and shapes, but are always wide and
bizarre compared to a “normal” beat

5 Steps to Identify Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC’s)
1. What is the rate?

Atrial: usually normal
Ventricular: usually normal
Depends on underlying rhythm

2. What is the rhythm?

Depends on underlying rhythm; Irregular during PVC’s

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?

Absent with PVC’s

Are P waves upright and uniform?
4. What is the length of the PR interval?

Not measureable during PVC’s

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?

Varies
Wide and bizarre (>0.12 sec), occurs earlier than expected

What is the length of the QRS complexes?

PVC Patterns
Ventricular bigeminy

PVC occurs every other beat

Ventricular trigeminy

PVC occurs every third beat

Ventricular quadrigeminy

PVC occurs every fourth beat

Couplets

Two PVC’s together

Runs of ventricular tachycardia (VT)

Three or more PVC’s in a row

Causes and S/S of PVC’s
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Exercise

▪ Palpitations

▪ Stress

▪ Weakness

▪ Caffeine

▪ Dizziness

▪ Heart disease: MI, CHF,
Cardiomyopathy, Mitral valve
prolapse

▪ Hypotension

▪ Electrolyte imbalances
▪ Hypoxia
▪ Tricyclic antidepressants

▪ Digitalis toxicity

Risk and Medical Tx of PVC’s
Risk

Treatment

▪ Reduced cardiac output

▪ Oxygen

▪ Heart failure

▪ Treat the cause

▪ May convert to V-Tach or V-Fib

▪ Lidocaine is the drug of choice,
although procainamide is
sometimes used

Nursing Interventions for PVC’s
• Assess patient
• O2 at 2 liters; Oxygen may abate the PVC’s
• Start IV if not already established and hang NS
• Monitor for frequent PVC’s and deterioration to more serious
rhythms

Idioventricular Rhythm
Idioventricular arrhythmia is also termed ventricular escape rhythm. It is
considered a last-ditch effort of the ventricles to try to prevent cardiac standstill.
▪ The SA node and AV node have failed
▪ Rate usually between 20 to 40 beats per minute (bpm)
▪ Cardiac output is compromised!!

Keys to identifying: rhythm is SLOW, no P wave, wide & bizarre QRS!

5 Steps to Identify Idioventricular Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

Ventricular: 20-40 bpm

2. What is the rhythm?

Usually regular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?

Absent

Are P waves upright and uniform?
4. What is the length of the PR interval?

Not measureable

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
Wide and bizarre (>0.12 sec), with T wave deflection
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Causes and S/S of Idioventricular Rhythm
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

• Drugs- Digitalis

▪ Pale

• MI

▪ Cool with mottled skin

• Metabolic imbalances

▪ Weakness

• Hyperkalemia

▪ Dizziness

• Cardiomyopathy

▪ Hypotension
▪ Alteration in mental status

Risk and Medical Tx of Idioventricular Rhythm

Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Usually a terminal event
occurring before ventricular
standstill

▪ Atropine

▪ Death- cardiac arrest

▪ Dopamine when hypotensive

▪ Pacing

▪ CPR

Nursing Interventions Idioventricular Rhythm
• Assess your patient: patient will most likely be symptomatic with a
weak, thready pulse
• Run continuous monitor strips/record
• Begin CPR
• Call Code Blue

• Notify MD
• Start IV if not already established and hang NS

Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm
Accelerated idioventricular arrhythmia is last-ditch effort of the
ventricles to try to prevent cardiac standstill.
• The SA node and AV node have failed
• Rate usually between 40 to 100 beats per minute (bpm)
• Cardiac output is compromised

5 Steps to Identify Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

Ventricular: 41-100 bpm

2. What is the rhythm?

Usually regular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?

Absent

Are P waves upright and uniform?

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

Not measureable

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Wide and bizarre (>0.12 sec), with T wave deflection

Causes and S/S of Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm

Causes

Signs and Symptoms

• Drugs- Digitalis

▪ Pale

• MI

▪ Cool with mottled skin

• Metabolic imbalances

▪ Weakness

• Hyperkalemia

▪ Dizziness

• Cardiomyopathy

▪ Hypotension
▪ Alterations in mental status

Risk and Medical Tx of Accelerated Idioventricular
Rhythm
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Usually a terminal event
occurring before ventricular
standstill

▪ Atropine

▪ Death- cardiac arrest

▪ Dopamine when hypotensive

▪ Pacing

▪ CPR

Nursing Interventions for Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm
• Assess your patient: patient will most likely be symptomatic with a
weak, thready pulse
• Run continuous monitor strips/record
• Begin CPR
• Call Code Blue

• Notify MD
• Start IV if not already established and hang NS

Agonal Rhythm
Agonal rhythm is when the Idioventricular rhythm is 20 beats or less
per minute. Frequently is seen as the last-ordered semblance of a
heart rhythm when resuscitation efforts are unsuccessful.

5 Steps to Identify an Agonal Rhythm
1. What is the rate?

Ventricular: 0.12 sec), with T wave deflection

Causes and S/S of Agonal Rhythm
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

• Trauma

▪ Loss of consciousness

• Acute MI

▪ No palpable pulse or measurable
BP

• Natural progression to death

Risk and Medical Tx of Agonal Rhythm
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Death

▪ CPR/ACLS Protocol
▪ If life saving efforts have already
been attempted no further
treatment

Nursing Interventions for a Agonal Rhythm
• Make sure their aren’t any loose leads or leads that have come off
the patient
• Call a Code Blue
• Start CPR
• Notify MD

If death is the expected outcome:
▪ Monitor vital signs

▪ Record rhythm progression
▪ Support family and friends

Ventricular Tachycardia
▪ Ventricular tachycardia almost always occurs in diseased hearts.
▪ Rhythm in which three or more PVCs arise in sequence at a rate greater than 100 beats per
minute.
▪ V-tach can occur in short bursts lasting less than 30 seconds, causing few or no symptoms.
▪ Sustained v-tach lasts for more than 30 seconds and requires immediate treatment to prevent
death.
▪ V-tach can quickly deteriorate into ventricular fibrillation.

5 Steps to Identify Ventricular Tachycardia (V-Tach)
1. What is the rate?

101-250 bpm

2. What is the rhythm?

Atrial rhythm not distinguishable
Ventricular rhythm usually regular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS? Are P waves
upright and uniform?

No

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

Not measureable

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Wide and bizarre (>0.12 sec)

Causes and S/S of V-Tach
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Usually occurs with underlying heart
disease

▪ Chest discomfort (angina)

▪ Commonly occurs with myocardial
ischemia or infarction

▪ Light-headedness or dizziness

▪ Syncope

▪ Certain medications may prolong
the QT interval predisposing the
patient to ventricular tachycardia

▪ Palpitations

▪ Electrolyte imbalance

▪ Absent or rapid pulse

▪ Digitalis toxicity

▪ Loss of consciousness

▪ Congestive heart failure

▪ Hypotension

▪ Shortness of breath

Risk and Medical Tx of V-Tach
Risk

▪ Major cause of sudden cardiac
death

Medical Treatment

▪ If there is no pulse, begin CPR
and follow ACLS protocol
▪ If there is a pulse and the patient
is unstable - cardiovert and begin
drug therapy
▪ Amiodarone
▪ Lidocaine

▪ With chronic or recurrent VT
▪ Give antiarrhythmics
▪ Long term may need ICD placed
▪ Ablation may be used for reentry

Nursing Interventions for V-Tach
♥ Assess your patient
♥ If symptomatic, treatment must be aggressive and immediate
♥ Pulse present
• Oxygen
• Patent IV (preferably x2)
• Monitor patient very closely
♥ Pulseless
• Call Code Blue
• Begin CPR
• Defibrillate ASAP
• Start IV if not already established and hang NS
• Notify MD

▪ Let’s see more

Ventricular Fibrillation
♥ V-Fib (coarse and fine)
♥ Occurs as a result of multiple weak ectopic foci in the ventricles
♥ No coordinated atrial or ventricular contraction
♥ Electrical impulses initiated by multiple ventricular sites; impulses are not transmitted through
normal conduction pathway

5 Steps to Identify Ventricular Fibrillation
1. What is the rate?

Not discernible

2. What is the rhythm?

Rapid, unorganized, not discernable

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

No

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

None

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

None

Causes and S/S of V-Fib
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ AMI

▪ Loss of consciousness

▪ Untreated VT

▪ Absent pulse

▪ Electrolyte imbalance
▪ Hypothermia
▪ Myocardial ischemia
▪ Drug toxicity or overdose
▪ Trauma

Risk and Medical Tx of V-Fib
Risk

Medical treatment

▪ Death

▪ CPR with immediate
defibrillation
▪ Initiate ACLS algorithm

Nursing Interventions V-Fib
• Assess your patient
• Many things can mimic v-fib on a monitor strip such as electric razor or
shivering
• You must check your patient!

• Treatment must be aggressive and immediate
• Start CPR/ACLS
• Call a Code Blue
• Defibrillate ASAP

• Start IV if not already established and hang NS
• Notify MD

Torsades de Pointes Rhythm
▪ Torsades de pointes is associated with a prolonged QT interval. Torsades usually
terminates spontaneously but frequently recurs and may degenerate into ventricular
fibrillation.
▪ The hallmark of this rhythm is the upward and downward deflection of the QRS
complexes around the baseline. The term Torsades de Pointes means “twisting about
the points.”

5 Steps to Identify Torsades de Pointes
1. What is the rate?

Ventricular: 150-250 bpm

2. What is the rhythm?

Regular or irregular

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS? Are P waves
upright and uniform?

No

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

Not measurable

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

Wide and bizarre, some deflecting downward and
some deflecting upward

Causes and S/S of Torsades de Pointes
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Is associated with prolonged QT
interval

▪ Chest pain

▪ Is often caused by drugs
conventionally recommended in
treating VT

▪ Dizziness

▪ Phenothiazine or tricyclic
antidepressant overdose
▪ Electrolyte disturbances,
especially hypokalemia and
hypomagnesemia

▪ Loss of consciousness
▪ Nausea
▪ Shortness of breath

Risk and Medical Tx of Torsades de Pointes
Risk

▪ Death

Medical Treatment

▪ Begin CPR and other code
measures
▪ Eliminate predisposing factors rhythm has tendency to recur
unless precipitating factors are
eliminated
▪ Administrate magnesium sulfate
bolus
▪ Synchronized cardioversion is
indicated when the patient in
unstable if possible or defibrillate

Nursing Interventions for Torsades de Pointes
• Assess your patient
• Make sure their aren’t any loose leads or leads that have come off the
patient
• Start CPR
• Call a Code Blue

• Start IV if not already established and hang NS
• Notify MD
• Must treat the cause – usually giving Magnesium

Asystole
▪ Ventricular standstill

5 Steps to Identify Asystole
1. What is the rate?

none

2. What is the rhythm?

none

3. Is there a P wave before each QRS?
Are P waves upright and uniform?

none

4. What is the length of the PR interval?

none

5. Do all QRS complexes look alike?
What is the length of the QRS complexes?

none

Causes and S/S of Asystole
Causes

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Extensive myocardial damage,
secondary to acute myocardial
infarction

▪ No palpable pulse

▪ Failure of higher pacemakers

▪ Loss of consciousness

▪ Cardiac tamponade
▪ Prolonged v-fib
▪ Pulmonary embolism

▪ No measurable BP

Risk and Medical Tx of Asystole
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Deader – they are already dead

▪ CPR
▪ ACLS protocol

Nursing Interventions for Asystole
♥ Assess your patient
♥ Make sure their aren’t any loose leads or leads that have come off
the patient
♥ Treatment must be aggressive and immediate

• Call a Code Blue
• Start CPR/ACLS

Pulseless Electrical Activity (PEA)
▪ Electricity is working, but the mechanics and plumbing are not.
▪ The absence of a palpable pulse and absence of myocardial muscle activity with
presence of organized electrical activity on the cardiac monitor. The patient is
clinically dead despite some type of organized rhythm on monitor.

Causes and S/S of PEA
Causes: H’s and T’s













Hypovolemia #1 cause
Hypoxia
Hydrogen ions (acidosis)
Hypo / Hyperkalemia
Hypothermia
Toxins
Tamponade (cardiac)
Tension pneumothorax
Thrombosis (coronary or pulmonary)
Trauma
Massive MI
Overdose of tricyclic antidepressants

Signs and Symptoms

▪ Pulselessness
▪ Loss of consciousness
▪ No palpable BP

Risk and Medical Tx of PEA
Risk

Medical Treatment

▪ Death – this rhythm has no
cardiac activity associated with it

▪ Determine cause & treat
▪ CPR
▪ Initiate ACLS protocol

Nursing Interventions PEA
♥ Assess your patient
♥ Treatment must be aggressive and immediate
• Call a Code Blue
• Start CPR/ACLS

• Run continuous monitor strips/Record
• Start IV if not already established and hang NS
• Notify MD

Click on the links!

Let’s Practice!!
All types of strips

References
Aehlert, B. (2006). ECG’s made easy (3rd ed.). Missouri: MosbyJems Elsevier.
American Heart Association. (2011). Advanced cardiovascular life support provider manual. Dallas: American
Heart Association.
ACLS Algorithms. (2012). Learn and master. Retrieved from http://acls-algorithms.com/
E-Medicine Health. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/script/main/hp.asp
Heart Start Skills. (2009). Retrieved from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nhThfSWU7U&feature=autoplay&list=UUDG8UqA26LciIovorpr_bJQ&play
next=3
MedicineNet.com. (2012). Cardiac arrhythmias. Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com
Medscape. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com
Nagell, K. & Nagell, R. (2003). A case-based approach to ECG interpretation. Missouri: MosbyJems.

It’s time to practice!!

Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from an 86-year-old woman who experienced a
cardiopulmonary arrest. The initial rhythm was asystole. The
following rhythm resulted after IV administration of epinephrine
and atropine.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

40 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

None

PR interval

None

QRS duration

0.18 sec

Identification

Idioventricular rhythm (IVR) (ventricular
escape rhythm)

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from a 69-year-old man complaining of
shortness of breath. Lung sounds reveal bilateral rales. Blood
pressure: 160/58.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

107 bpm (sinus beats)/
Regular except for the events

Atrial rate/rhythm

107 bpm (sinus beats)/
Regular except for the events

PR interval

0.20 sec (sinus beats)

QRS duration

0.08 sec (sinus beats)

Identification

Sinus tachycardia with uniform PVCs
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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

214 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.14 sec

Identification

Monomorphic ventricular tachycardia

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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

214 bpm (VT) to 71 bpm (atrial fib)/ Irregular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.12 to 0.16 sec (VT) to 0.06 sec (atrial fib)

Identification

Monomorphic VT to atrial fibrillation

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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

88 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.06 sec

Identification

Atrial flutter with ST-segment depression

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from a 52-year-old man found unresponsive,
apneic, and pulseless.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

88 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

None

PR interval

None

QRS duration

0.12 to 0.14 sec

Identification

Accelerated idioventricular rhythm (AIVR)

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Rhythm Identification
▪ These rhythm strips are from a 78-year-old man complaining of
shortness of breath. He has a history of COPD, coronary artery
disease, and hypertension.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

55 to 94 bpm/irregular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.10 sec

Identification

Atrial fibrillation (controlled)

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from an 86-year-old woman complaining of
chest pain that she rates a 4 on a scale of 0 to 10. Blood pressure:
142/72.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

60 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

60 bpm/regular

PR interval

0.20 sec

QRS duration

0.06 sec

Identification

Sinus rhythm

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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

115 bpm (sinus beats)/
Regular except for the event

Atrial rate/rhythm

115 bpm (sinus beats)/
Regular except for the event

PR interval

0.16 sec

QRS duration

0.08 to 0.10 sec

Identification

Sinus tachycardia with PACs

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from an 83-year-old man complaining of chest
pain. He had a new pacemaker implanted 5 days ago. His blood
pressure is 148/60.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

79 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.08 sec

Identification

Atrial fibrillation (controlled)

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from a 52-year-old man with substernal chest
pain. He has a history of COPD and mitral valve regurgitation.
Blood pressure: 140/78.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

75 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

75 bpm/regular

PR interval

0.14 sec

QRS duration

0.06 to 0.08 sec

Identification

Sinus rhythm with ST-segment depression

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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

54 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.08 sec

Identification

Atrial fibrillation (controlled)

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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

None

Atrial rate/rhythm

None

PR interval

None

QRS duration

None

Identification

Asystole

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from a 1-month-old infant after a 3-minute
seizure.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

130 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

130 bpm/regular

PR interval

0.14 to 0.16 sec

QRS duration

0.06 to 0.08 sec

Identification

Sinus tachycardia

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from a 77-year-old woman with a congested
cough.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

107 to 200 bpm/irregular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.06 to 0.08 sec

Identification

Atrial fibrillation (uncontrolled)

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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

83 bpm (sinus beats)/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

83 bpm (sinus beats)/regular

PR interval

0.20 sec (sinus beats)

QRS duration

0.06 to 0.08 sec (sinus beats)

Identification

Atrial flutter – pause – sinus rhythm

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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

96 bpm (sinus beats)/
Regular except for the event

Atrial rate/rhythm

96 bpm (sinus beats)/
Regular except for the event

PR interval

0.12 sec (sinus beats)

QRS duration

0.08 to 0.10 sec (sinus beats)

Identification

Sinus rhythm with uniform PVCs

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from a 54-year-old man who had a syncopal
episode.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

58 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

58 bpm/regular

PR interval

0.20 sec

QRS duration

0.08 sec

Identification

Sinus bradycardia

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from a 43-year-old woman complaining of
palpitations.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

214 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.08 sec

Identification

Supraventricular tachycardia

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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

Unable to determine

Identification

Ventricular fibrillation (coarse)

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from an 88-year-old woman complaining of hip
pain after a fall injury.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

68 to 125 bpm/irregular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.08 sec

Identification

Atrial fibrillation

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from an 82-year-old woman with vomiting x 2
days.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

115 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

115 bpm/regular

PR interval

0.18 sec

QRS duration

0.06 sec

Identification

Sinus tachycardia

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from a 62-year-old woman complaining of
chest pain. Her blood pressure is 146/104, respirations are 20.
Breath sounds are clear.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

167 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.06 sec

Identification

Narrow-QRS tachycardia (SVT)
with ST-segment depression

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from a 6-year-old boy immediately after a
seizure.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

68 to 88 bpm/irregular

Atrial rate/rhythm

68 to 88 bpm/irregular

PR interval

0.12 sec

QRS duration

0.08 sec

Identification

Sinus arrhythmia

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Rhythm Identification
▪ These rhythm strips are from a 44-year-old woman complaining of
chest pain.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

176 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

None

PR interval

None

QRS duration

0.12 to 0.14 sec

Identification

Monomorphic ventricular tachycardia

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Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from an 81-year-old woman complaining of
chest pain.

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

76 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

None

PR interval

None

QRS duration

0.12 to 0.14 sec

Identification

Accelerated idioventricular rhythm (AIVR)

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Rhythm Identification

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Ventricular rate/rhythm

42 bpm (sinus beats)/
Regular except for the event (every other beat
is an ectopic beat)

Atrial rate/rhythm

42 bpm (sinus beats)/
Regular except for the event

PR interval

0.12 sec (sinus beats)

QRS duration

0.08 to 0.10 sec (sinus beats)

Identification

Sinus bradycardia with
ventricular bigeminy
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Rhythm Identification

Copyright © 2006
by Mosby Inc. All
rights reserved.

Ventricular rate/rhythm

42 bpm/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

None

PR interval

None

QRS duration

0.24 sec

Identification

Accelerated idioventricular rhythm (AIVR)

Copyright © 2006
by Mosby Inc. All
rights reserved.

Rhythm Identification
▪ This rhythm strip is from an 18-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his
chest.

Copyright © 2006
by Mosby Inc. All
rights reserved.

Ventricular rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

Atrial rate/rhythm

None

PR interval

None

QRS duration

None

Identification

Coarse ventricular fibrillation

Copyright © 2006
by Mosby Inc. All
rights reserved.

Rhythm Identification

Copyright © 2006 by Mosby Inc. All rights reserved.

Ventricular rate/rhythm

88/min/regular

Atrial rate/rhythm

Unable to determine

PR interval

Unable to determine

QRS duration

0.06 sec

Identification

Atrial flutter at 88 bpm
with ST-segment depression

Copyright © 2006 by Mosby Inc. All rights reserved.

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