Tag Archives: heart

EKG Basics

And, I mean really basics. We don’t spend much time talking about EKG reading in my Pathophysiology class because my own background is limited. However, I have asked that students be able to identify a normal EKG vs a ST elevated EKG; which signifies, along with other signs, such as cardiac enzymes in the blood; that a patient has had a heart attack.

(by the way, I would like to say right up front, that I happily accept comments that can improve this post)

Case Report:

A patient (65 yo male Caucasian) arrives in the ER after having severe chest pain radiating into the left arm, neck and jaw. The patient has a history of hypertension, some atherosclerosis, and spasms of the coronary arteries. Patient smokes 1/2 pack per day, and drinks approximately 1-2 beers a day. When symptoms set in, he took a Nitroglycerine tab under his tongue, but experienced no relief. His wife drove him in to the ER as he was experiencing nausea.

A blood test for cardiac proteins indicated that Troponins (Tn T and Tn I) were both present in serum at 10x the upper reference limits. His EKG appear as:

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 8.44.30 PM

Click image for live EKG

What is your diagnosis?

What do the elevated Troponins indicate?

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


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The Hardest Working Organ of the Body

Like the James Brown of the Body

As I started grading the first Pathophysiology Exam on Cardiovascular Function in Health and Disease, the first material I saw was in answer to my questions about the flow of blood through the heart and to the rest of the body. I can’t say that I was happy with the results, but I want to emphasize that this is very basic material that we discussed and outlined in our class, but that I had also assumed was covered in Anatomy and Physiology last semester. After two passes through this material, it should be easily accessible┬áin every student’s mind.

As a reminder of these functions and the flow of blood, here is Khan Academy’s summary of this material:

I believe that that is important foundational material, and you may have a pop quiz on it at any time.

stay on the scene

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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Uncategorized


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