Advanced Life Support (ALS) Level 3 (VTQ)

117 videos, 6 hours and 42 minutes

Course Content

Applying an ECG

Video 39 of 117
7 min 51 sec
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Placing Electrodes for ECG - Patient Assessment


In this section, we will discuss the proper placement of electrodes on the patient's body for an ECG (Electrocardiogram) procedure. Accurate electrode placement is crucial for obtaining high-quality diagnostic results.

Equipment Preparation

Before beginning the electrode placement, gather the necessary equipment. This includes a razor for removing chest hair if needed and tissue to aid electrode adhesion, particularly on greasy or perspiring skin.

Important: Patient comfort and relaxation play a significant role in minimizing ECG artifacts.

Placing Limb Leads

Start by connecting the limb leads to the patient's limbs, following specific color codes for each limb. Proper positioning of these leads is essential to prevent discomfort or skin irritation.

Tip: Connect the leads to the electrodes before attaching them to the patient's skin.

Patient Consent

Always obtain the patient's consent before proceeding with the ECG procedure. Explain the process to the patient to ensure their understanding and cooperation.

Identifying Chest Lead Landmarks

Prior to placing chest leads, identify the necessary landmarks on the patient's chest. These landmarks guide the correct positioning of the chest electrodes.


  • Sternal Notch
  • Angle of Louis
  • Intercostal Spaces (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th)
  • Mid-Clavicular Lines
  • Mid-Axillary Line

Chest Lead Placement

Place the chest leads V1 and V2 in the 4th intercostal space at the sternal border. V3 goes midway between V2 and V4 on a diagonal line. Reach around underneath the patient's arm to position V6 at the mid-axillary line on the same horizontal plane as V4. Place V5 exactly midway between V4 and V6.

Patient Comfort

Keep the patient relaxed and comfortable throughout the electrode placement process. A relaxed patient increases the chances of obtaining a diagnostic-quality 12-lead ECG.

ECG Recording

Record the patient's ECG rhythm once all leads are correctly placed. Monitor for any changes and ensure that the quality of the recording is sufficient for diagnosis.

Conclusion and Patient Assessment

After obtaining the ECG recording, assess the results for any abnormalities or changes. If necessary, consult with a cardiology team and consider transferring the patient to a hospital for further evaluation.