by Paula Pangrazio VN, Manly Road 24hr Veterinary Clinic, Manly West, QLD
We’ve had this ECG for years. The newer models have superseded it in many ways but I like this old workhorse.
What’s good about it
We use this ECG routinely during surgical procedures, in emergency situations and also with recovering patients. It’s probably one of the most accurate pieces of equipment that we own. Other units, like the blood pressure machine and the STA2 monitor, can give false readings. The ECG displays what is actually happening with the patient in real time.
The newer models of ECG machines can have alarm parameters set so that it will sound if the heart rate is too high, low or at an incompatible rhythm. Older models, like this one, don’t have any kind of alarm so you need to watch them constantly. It has a continuous paper printout while newer models are displayed on a screen. Running a paper trace means that every beat is recorded. This is very handy post-surgery when the animal is recuperating.
The unit is attached to the animal with small alligator clamps. Most animals tolerate them very well. The clamps are very easy to attach and remove unlike press studs where the site has to be shaved. When moving an animal from surgery to the ward the alligator clips are simply popped off and back on again.
What’s not so good
As this unit runs a paper trace, there needs to be someone watching it constantly during surgery. If there is a lot going on in the ward with people operating different kinds of machines, this ECG can pick up some static.
Where did you get it
Our machine is quite old but VetQuip (carry a range of ECG units.