Reducing some false ECG clinical alarms can be in your control. Before applying an electrode, remember to do the following: clip excessive hair, properly clean the site, abrade the skin* and properly apply the electrode. When removing an electrode, go low and slow.
Application sites must be clean, dry, and free of any body lotions. Electrode sites should be cleaned with soap and water. Cleaning with isopropyl alcohol should be avoided or limited to situations in which electrode adhesion is an issue (excessively oily or lotion covered skin). If alcohol is used, allow it to dry prior to skin abrasion.
Excessive hair at the placement site should be removed by clipping. Abrade the skin* by making an "X" on the skin with the abrader. Use the abrader pad on the back of the electrode (blue strip or disc) or 3M™ Red Dot™ Trace Prep 2236.
Avoid pressing on the stud when electrode is on the patient. To bypass this, connect the snap style leadwire to the electrode prior to placing on the patient. Firmly rub your finger around the outside of the front label to activate the pressure sensitive adhesive and improve electrode adhesion.
In order to remove, loosen one side of the electrode. Grasping the full width of the electrode, slowly and gently pull it back over itself.
Electrodes should be removed in the direction of hair growth whenever possible. Keep the electrode close to the skin surface as you pull it back, and support the skin with a finger immediately adjacent to the adhesive being removed.
Refer to the product Instructions for Use for complete instructions including warnings, cautions, and other important information related to the use of 3M Red Dot electrodes. This application and removal guide is intended only as a quick reference.
1. Sendelbach S, Wahl S, Anthony A, Shotts P. Stop the Noise: A Quality Improvement Project to Decrease Electrocardiographic Nuisance Alarms. Critical Care Nurse Vol 35, No. 4, August 2015
*Skin abration is not recommended for pediatric patients