Optimizing Bedside ECG Monitoring with Wireless System

H Gandhi MD, S Sharma, DO, D Gilski APN, R Beveridge RN BSN, D Kantoris RN BSN, N Davis PhD, P Patel DO FACC

 

Background

In the critical care environment, false alarms and nuisance alarms associated with traditional ECG wires pose a safety risk to patients and burden the nursing staff by taking them away from the bedside. Lutheran General Hospital conducted a study of traditional ECG monitoring with lead wires and LifeSync® Wireless ECG System with LeadWear®. Each system was evaluated for bedside alarm accuracy and consistency of 12-lead ECG recordings.

 

Method

Forty-seven medical and cardiac intensive care unit patients were monitored for alarm accuracy over a 24 hour period. Each patient was monitored for the first 12 hours by using either traditional ECG monitoring and lead wires or the LifeSync® Wireless System with LeadWear® followed by the other system for the next 12 hours. True and false alarms were analyzed for both systems using Chi-square test. In addition, 47 medical and cardiac intensive care patients were evaluated for consistency in 12-lead ECG recordings. There 12-lead ECGs were recorded from each patient using both traditional ECG monitoring and lead wires and the LifeSync® Wireless System with LeadWear®.

 

Results

A total of 513 alarm events occurred with traditional ECG monitoring with lead wires of which 73% were due to true patient alarm conditions and 27% were due to motion artifact or other causes of artifact such as poor connections, poor skin preparation, or other cause of electrical noise. A total of 400 alarm events occurred with LifeSync® Wireless ECG System with LeadWear® of which 83% were true and 17% were false alarms due to motion artifact or other factors. The LifeSync® Wireless ECG System with LeadWear® demonstrated a 37% decrease in false alarms and 14% increase in true alarms. The data for false alarms was statistically significant between the two systems. Consistency of 12-lead ECG recordings demonstrated that the traditional lead wire system had 4 patients with lead misplacement, while there were no lead placement issues noted with the LifeSync® Wireless ECG System with LeadWear®.

 

Conclusions

LifeSync® Wireless ECG System (LS WECG) with LeadWear® provided more alarm accuracy and less incidence of false alarms resulting from motion artifact or other cause of artifact compared with traditional ECG wired system (TECG). In addition, consistent lead placement for accurate 12-lead ECG recording was confirmed.

 

Update

Following the study, Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge IL incorporated LifeSync® Wireless ECG System in its medical ICU, Cardiac ICU, and Surgical ICU. The Lifesync® System will be expanded to all critical care and intervention unites in the hospital’s new expansion through 2009.

 

Source: AHA, “2008 Scientific Sessions Poster Session, November 10, 2008, Available at http://circ.ahajournals.org