PMID: 3944840Feb 1, 1986Paper

Electrocardiographic monitoring after electrical injury: necessity or luxury

The Journal of Trauma
G F Purdue, J L Hunt

Abstract

It has been common practice to perform routine electrocardiographic (EKG) monitoring of electrically burned patients for the first 24 hours following injury. Is this monitoring necessary, or is it a luxury based on remote probabilities? The records of 48 consecutive patients admitted with high-voltage (greater than 1,000 volts) electrical injuries were reviewed with respect to history of a cardiac event in the field, EKG abnormalities on admission, and the presence of cardiac arrhythmias during the first postinjury day. No serious arrhythmias occurred in any patients who had a normal EKG on admission. It was concluded that routine cardiac monitoring after a high-voltage injury should be individualized based on history of loss of consciousness, documentation of an arrythmia, or an abnormal EKG.

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