The electrocardiogram is one of the most important diagnostic tools in acute medicine. In this course, we use straightforward language and graphics to explain in simple terms how the normal ECG readout is generated and presented. We then go on to explain how the ECG is used to diagnose diseases of the heart. As indicated in the links above, the course is divided into 5 sections; the normal ECG, Axis and Chambers, MI and ischemia, Arrhythmias and Miscellaneous. These sections should be studied in that order. Each of the 5 sections is further divided into a small number of videos. The videos in each section combine to form a single lecture and again should be viewed in the order indicated. At the end of each section there are a series of simple tests which are designed to consolidate the knowledge you will have acquired. These tests should be completed before moving on to the next section.
We have tried to emphasise aspects of ECG interpretation which we wish had been explained to us at the start of our careers! Some of the sections are currently in progress and will be available on-line in the coming year.
Arterial Blood Gas
The arterial blood gas (ABG) is a fundamental test in hospital practice. Abnormalities of arterial pH are seen in many different pathological situations. The ability to interpret pH abnormalities on the ABG can aid in the diagnosis of these conditions. In addition, identification of abnormalities of arterial oxygenation and their correction is a life-saving basic medical intervention.
In this course, we teach you the basics skills involved in interpreting abnormalities of pH and oxygenation on the ABG. This is a challenging area and the challenge is compounded by the fact that different countries use different units on the ABG readout. This course is available in the units in use in the United States (US units) and the SI units (SI units) used in much of the rest of the world. In some countries a mixture of different units are used! For this reason, on some of the ABG readouts two values are quoted for some biochemical measurements. Find out which units are in use in your country and log-on to the appropriate section.