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Old 01-11-2005, 04:46 AM   #1
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Are EKG's Prone To Computer-Generated Mistakes?

My most recent EKG before my Stress Echo said that I had a "Possible anteroseptal MI of Indeterminate age", and also it showed "Diffuse Non-specific ST-T wave Changes."

My Stress Echo on the Treadmill was normal, and my cardiologist explained to me that EKG's are notorious for generating these "findings".....and said everything is perfect.

Has anyone else had Abnormal EKG's when everything was normal?

 
Old 01-11-2005, 06:23 AM   #2
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: Are EKG's Prone To Computer-Generated Mistakes?

jerry,

Mistakes, yes; but I think most mistakes come from the MISINTERPRETATION of the copious raw data generated in an ECG. The machine itself is sort of primitive but the subtle pattern variations really take an expert to call well.
I just LOVE it when my GP makes believe he knows what he's looking at when he runs his little cheapy version that generates something that looks like a 2 foot sales slip.
He sometimes says: "Hmmm!"

I've tried to get my head around interpreting an ECG and I am struck by the extraordinary difficulty...way too subtle for me; it's really a junction of science and art and it seems like it takes YEARS of experience to do it well!

Last edited by Lenin; 01-11-2005 at 06:27 AM.

 
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:36 AM   #3
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Re: Are EKG's Prone To Computer-Generated Mistakes?

Yeah Lenin it is pretty difficult. You know those "insert activity for dummies" books, well believe it or not they have one for interpreting ECGs LOL! I somehow doubt that a lay person could interpret an ECG from that though....

I agree, Jerry. There are mistakes... but they are more likely in interpretation than the computer. But doctors don't want you to know they are falible human beings just like ourselves.

What led you to have an ECG in the first place? If there were symptoms or suspicions that have not been cleared up perhaps it would be wise to have a second one (since the results of the first contained errors). On the other hand, if it was just a 'routine' thing and the echo showed no problems, then I'd go with the fact that it was a mistake and there's nothing to worry about - because the things suspected by the ECG should have been noticed on an echo.
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