ECG Interpretation in the Emergency Department)

ECG Interpretation in the Emergency Department

Continuous Professional Development Support Scheme


ECG interpretation is a key skill for doctors working in emergency departments, or those who are assessing deteriorating patients in wards or outpatient settings.

Clinicians often must interpret an ECG in difficult circumstances: quickly, in isolation, without prior studies for comparison, or with the benefit of a cardiologist's second opinion. Inaccuracy in the interpretation of an ECG by emergency physicians may result in inappropriate management decisions regarding patient treatment or disposition. Several large studies reviewing missed acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the ED have suggested that failure to interpret the ECG accurately was an important factor in patient management errors. Several studies have found a significant discordance in the interpretation of ECGs between emergency medicine physicians and cardiologists.

This new online course uses case discussion format to revise the basics of ECG interpretation for emergency medicine physicians.

Our online learning platform allows you to access the recorded content on demand, with the facility to repeat more challenging modules as desired. You will be required to complete a quiz at the beginning and end of the course.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Review and be competent in basic ECG analysis:
    • What is an ECG?
    • Rhythm (and Brugada criteria)
    • Leads and Axis
    • Waves and complexes (including bundle branch and fascicular blocks)
    • ST and T wave changes
  • Recognise the 10 rules for a normal ECG
  • Know the abnormalities of the ECG in Acute Coronary Syndrome
  • Risk stratify dizziness collapse and the ECG – including WPW, Long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, HOCM
  • Understand:
    • Electrolyte disturbance and environmental emergencies
    • Drugs and the ECG
    • ED management of ICD problems
    • ED management of Pacemaker problems
    • Arrythmias: Tachycardias
    • Arrythmias: Bradycardias

This course is most suitable for SHOs and registrars working in emergency medicine and general and acute medicine. However it is also suitable for SHOs and registrars in all surgical specialities.