Cause of Device-Related Incident
*Not stated

Clinical Specialty or Hospital Department
Cardiology / Cardiac Catheterization; CCU / ICU / NICU; Clinical/Biomedical Engineering; CSR / Materials Management; Nursing

Device Factors
*Not stated

Document Type
User Experience Network (UEN) reports

External Factors
*Not stated

Mechanism of Injury or Death
Misdiagnosis; Monitoring failure

Support System Failures
*Not stated

Tampering and/or Sabotage
*Not stated

User Errors
*Not stated

UMDNS
Electrodes, Electrocardiographic [11-439]

ECG Electrodes: Selection Practices



User Experience Network™ [Health Devices Feb 1993;22(2):97]

Hospital

We are beginning an evaluation of ECG electrodes to determine which brands are technically suitable for hospital application. Can you offer any guidance?

ECRI

Technical tests would not necessarily indicate which electrode is best. We believe that it is better to try them out clinically and choose the brand of ECG electrode that gives you good performance and is cost-effective.

We suggest that you run an organized clinical trial. Obtain samples from several companies, and distribute each brand of ECG electrodes to each clinical area that uses them. However, all electrodes used in one clinical area at one time should be from the same manufacturer. To save time, you may wish to provide each clinical area with a different electrode type—for example, Area 1 would use Manufacturer A's product, and Area 2 would use Manufacturer B's product—and then rotate products so that each area can use and compare each type of electrode. Let the nursing staff use the electrodes for several days, and then ask them for their impressions. This could be done informally or with a questionnaire. Some issues to consider include the following:

  • How well does the electrode adhere to the patient's skin?
  • Does the electrode produce a good ECG trace?
  • Does the electrode tend to dry out and require frequent replacement (see next question)?
  • Is it easy to snap the patient leads onto these electrodes?

We believe that your time will be better spent by trying out the electrodes in a clinical setting and getting the nursing staff's impressions than by comprehensively testing the electrical characteristics against the AAMI standard.

UMDNS Term

Electrodes, Electrocardiographic [11-439]

Mechanism of Injury or Death

Misdiagnosis; Monitoring failure


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