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MSSBU Newsletter

WEEK 6 Sat 20/10 WEEK 7

Handover

Central Lounge

Postgraduate Dinner

TBA

MOVEMBER‌.COMING SOON

Issue 13

19/10/12


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Spring 2012

YEAR ECG BOOK REVIEW

Alka is a final year medical student at Bond University. She has a background as a pharmacist and completed a Bachelor of pharmacy degree at the University of Sydney, a post graduate diploma Biomedical sciences and is an ambassador of Ovarian Cancer Australia and has spent time working in the A&E department of the University College London hospital. She is an avid member of the student philanthropic society and is currently working on a community heart failure audit and has a keen interest in clinical research. “Book Review. Perhaps the only ECG text you need….” Jayasinghe, S. Rohan. ECG Workbook, Australia: Elsevier; 2012. RRP: $59.95 Like tools are to a plumber, correct ECG interpretations are to a doctor. ECG’s are the basis of diagnosis for most of the patients that walk through a hospital door. How many patients do you see as a student or intern that don’t have an ECG tucked into their notes and how many times do you look at the ECG and quietly think to yourself “what on earth is going on?” and sheepishly pray that the consultant doesn’t ask you to interpret the ECG? Mastering an ECG is the foundation of being a doctor, an essential skill that you won’t be able to shy away from in “the real” life as a doctor. So in the quest to find a book that would put my ECG fears to a stop, I stumbled across this clever little book.

The author takes both a logical and systematic approach in this text as he emphasizes the “importance of treating a patient and not an ECG”. Readers are provided with real life case studies linked to clearly laid out ECG’s and then guided through a stepwise process when attempting to interpret an ECG, allowing them to practice this new skill set, formulate a clinical diagnosis and then decide on an appropriate and optimal management plan.

What I find refreshing about this text is that it takes that extra step that readers are faced with in day to day clinical practice, in that it trains the reader to stratify the significance of the ECG findings based on clinical relevance and urgency.

The workbook is divided into three conveniently laid out and user-friendly sections. Section 1 takes readers on a journey through the bare basics of ECG’s. Essential knowledge on the physiology of the cardiac conduction system is revisited, before explaining the derivation of the modern electrocardiogram by the Nobel prizewinning

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Dutch physician William Eithoven. Difficult concepts such as accurately determining the cardiac axis are explained using both the two and three lead method and then finally the very difficult, yet more accurate method involving understanding the position of limb leads in relation to a hexa-axial reference system is explained in a methodical approach. The importance of correct limb placement is explained before the author dives into providing the reader with 6 practical rules that should be applied when “eyeballing” any ECG. A framework then provides an organized line of attack when attempting to read an ECG. This section looks at the “normal” ECG and highlights life-threatening ECG changes that need urgent therapeutic intervention.

Section 2 explores ECG based diagnosis exploring pathologies through ECG interpretation, abnormalities in the P wave, PR segment, QRS complex, Q wave, R wave, S wave and ST segments and then focuses on STEMI associated ECG changes. The author should be commended on including pathologies with mixed ECG changes which are commonly seen in clinical settings such as pulmonary embolism, subarachnoid haemorrhage, takotsubo cardiomyopathy, hypokalaemia and hyperkalaemia before drawing the readers attention to drug induced ECG changes.

Everyone knows that practice makes perfect and the key to mastering any new skill set is practice. The final section of this innovative book is clearly set out in a workbook format that contains a series of ECG tracings linked to a clinical scenario, with a fill in worksheet that guides the reader to interpret the ECG in the strategic framework that was taught earlier in section 1 of this text.

Many texts that attempt to help its reader master the art of ECG interpretation lack this crucial worksheet approach, which facilitates repetitive learning and ultimately allows the clinician to master the ability to interpret ECG’s in the correct clinical context. Each case is followed by the answer which has been carefully set out in the same systematic framework taught throughout the text, ensuring the reader understands the importance of using this stepwise approach when faced with this somewhat daunting task. Self assessment enables the reader to build confidence and precision, gauge their competence and hone in on gaps in their knowledge so key concepts can be revisited and mastered as they work their way through this glorious all-in-one paperback.

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This short but sweet text provides a comprehensive and systematic approach to learning how to interpret ECG’s whilst making sure the reader is able to relate them to real life scenarios. The only criticism I have of this clever little lifesaver that is small enough to effortlessly carry around hospital, is that it should be available in hard-back! All in all I feel this clever author, an interventional cardiologist, should be applauded as he has succeeded in providing readers with the perfect blend of mastering the art of ECG interpretation and applying it to diagnostic situations without getting lost in the detail.

MSSBU HANDOVER After a year with MedSoc 2012's beautiful faces - IT IS FINALLY TIME FOR HANDOVER!!! Join MSSBU on Saturday the 20th of October (TOMORROW NIGHT) for our last official event of the year where we will announce the new team for 2013!! Handover will be held at Central Lounge this year. Please arrive between 9:30-10pm for VIP Beverage entitlements and tokens‌ The Afterparty will be at SIN CITY with further VIP entitlements - more details to follow! Don't miss out - Handover 2012 will be an unforgettable night! Hope to see you there!! Love,

Your Medsoc xxxx

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Questions? Would you like more info? Email Christina Popovic – Publications Officer: Christina.Popovic@student.bond.edu.au 5

MSSBU Newsletter Issue 13  

MSSBU Newsletter Issue 13

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