Left arm/left leg lead reversals at the cable junction box: A cause for an epidemic of errors

Poonam Velagapudi, Mohit K. Turagam, Sherry Ritter, Mary L. Dohrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Medical errors, especially due to misinterpretation of electrocardiograms (ECG), are extremely common in patients admitted to the hospital and significantly account for increased morbidity, mortality and health care costs in the United States. Inaccurate performance of an ECG can lead to invalid interpretation and in turn may lead to costly cardiovascular evaluation. We report a retrospective series of 58 sequential cases of ECG limb lead reversals in the ER due to inadvertent interchange in the lead cables at the point where they insert into the cable junction box of one ECG machine. This case series highlights recognition of ECG lead reversal originating in the ECG machine itself. This case series also demonstrates an ongoing need for education regarding standardization of ECG testing and for recognizing technical anomalies to deliver appropriate care for the patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-114
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ECG
  • Lead misplacement
  • Lead reversal
  • Medical errors

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Left arm/left leg lead reversals at the cable junction box: A cause for an epidemic of errors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this