Don't shrink... from ECGs: Part 1

ECG interpretation made easy for psychiatrists

by Dr Luke Solomons, Dr Jim Crabb, Dr Adrian Treloar and Dr E. Naomi Smith

Don't shrink from ECGsWith care of the mentally unwell our primary job (and many of us psychiatrists), we may wonder why we should be re-learning something that is essentially a medical skill that should be left to the medics.

 

But we must remember:

 

  • psychiatric patients have significantly more comorbid medical illnesses AND have higher mortality rates as a result of this (Waddington et al, 1998)

 

  • we use some of the most dangerous drugs on our patients these increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrythmias and thus, sudden cardiac death (Ray et al, 2001)

 

  • ECG interpretation is a basic skill expected of any UK medical school graduate, however studies show a lack of elementary knowledge of ECGs amongst all doctors (Montgomery et al, 1994)

 

  • there is compelling evidence that ECG interpretation amongst psychiatrists is poor (Solomons et al, 2008)

 

 

The aim of this two-part module therefore is to refresh clinicians’ knowledge of ECGs and to help them recognise basic abnormalities, focusing on conditions that are most commonly seen in mentally unwell patients.

 

Start the module

 

If you like this module, you may also be interested in:

 

Don't shrink... from ECGs: Part 2. ECG interpretation made easy for psychiatrists by Dr Luke Solomons, Dr Jim Crabb, Dr Adrian Treloar and Dr E. Naomi Smith

 

Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry (book from RCPsych Publications)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download take-home notes to print and annotateDownload take-home notes to print and annotate

 

 

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© 2014 Royal College of Psychiatrists