Howard M. Hochberg, M.D.
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Electrocardiogram monitoring equipment sends small currents through patients. Concern exists about the safe level of these currents because they may cause arrhythmias or ventricular fibrillation.
Studies on dogs and humans show the arryhthmic and fibrillatory effects are complex functions. They are related to: point in the heart cycle of application or withdrawal; location of electrodes on the heart or body surface; weight; frequency, duration, quantity of leakage (for steady flow); total energy, wave shape, pulse duration (for transients); the memory effect of cardiac muscle; and variability between individuals. Increasing amounts of current produces premature ventricular contractions, runs of these contractions,
Hochberg HM. Electrical Safety in Electrocardiogram Monitoring.. Ann Intern Med. ;72:777–778. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-72-5-777_5
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1970;72(5):777-778.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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