ECG simulator is a device that is used on a regular, even daily or weekly basis, to test the proper functioning of the various vital sign monitors, patient monitors or electrocardiography, ECG monitors. In a hospital setting, with a large number of patients who have or are about to undergo surgeries and whose vital signs are weak, it becomes extremely important that the patient monitors of any kind are functioning correctly at all times.
If you are in charge of testing ECG monitors with ECG simulators in a hospital then in this article we will go over some of the basic simulated ECG waveforms and associated arrhythmias of the heart. By knowing the choices, you will be better able to match the testing procedures and waveforms using ECG machines with the actual situation of the observed patients in your hospital. That way, you will have the best chance to make sure that your ECG monitors and patient monitors are well calibrated for the task at hand.
ECG patterns included with ECG simulators
Normal rhythm of the heart: ECG simulator will typically have an option of choosing an adult heart beat, at around 80 beats per minute, and a pediatric or child’s heart beat, at 40 beats per minute.
Irregular rhythms that are caused by abnormal atrium part of the heart
Asystole: No detectible electric signals in the heart. This probably means that the heart is stopped. The opposite is not true. The heart can be stopped even though the electric heart signals are coming in.
Sinus Arrhythmia: The heart as a whole will beat faster due to faster beating of the “pace maker”, or the “sinus node” in the atrium. This can often be quite normal, such as in a fearful situation.
Sick Sinus Syndrome: Opposite to sinus arrhythmia, here the sinus node reduces the expected heart rate and the whole heart slows down.
Missed beat: Heart acts normally, misses a beat, and returns to normal action.
SVT: Supraventricular tachycardia, happens when either the atrium or the AV node starts firing faster and regularly.
PAC or APC: Premature atrial contractions, or premature supraventricular contractions. Abnormality when the atria contract earlier than normal.
Atrial flutter: Similar to atrial fibrillation but signal originating in a single part of the atria. The frequency can be as fast as three hundred contractions per minute, but the AV will only allow every other beat through, so the ventricular contractions will be exactly one half.
Atrial fibrillation: Stands for electric signals originated from multiple different places in the atria. Fibrillation will cause faster than normal heart beat. Atrial fibrillation can be either coarse or fine.
Irregular rhythms caused by faulty Ventricules
PVC: Premature ventricular complex, electric signal starts in the ventricle and causes ventricle to beat earlier than normal. This is usually not repeated, but a single event. This can have a focus on either ventricle, left or right, or can be multi focal. PVC can come as single aberration, or in pairs, etc. They are different from Bigeminy or Trigeminy above.
Ventricular fibrillation: Faster and irregular beating of the ventricle. Fibrillation can either be fine or coarse. The fibrillation causes the heart to become unable to beat or pump any appreciable amount of blood through the body. This is termed cardiac arrest, or stoppage of the heart.
Ventricular tachychardia: Faster beating of the ventricle, usually quite regular. A very dangerous symptom.