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From The CriticsReviewer: Lavonne M. Adams, PhD, RN, CCRN (Southwestern Adventist University)
Description: This guide to analyzing and interpreting single-lead ECGs may be used as a stand-alone self-study workbook or in conjunction with classroom instruction. The previous edition was published in 1993.
Purpose: The book provides the building blocks for a systematic understanding of basic knowledge and skills needed for ECG analysis. This is a useful objective, and the book meets them.
Audience: The target audience includes practicing ICU nurses, nursing students, EMTs, paramedics, and medical students. The book seems to be too basic for practicing ICU nurses, who would probably be best served with a text focusing on 12- lead ECG. The author has many years of experience as a nursing professor and appears credible.
Features: The book addresses cardiac A&P, ECG interpretation, and treatment modalities. Treatment modalities include both the old and newer ACLS guidelines. ECG practice strips are included both at the end of each dysrhythmia section and in a general practice section. The book includes ECG review sheets for major dysrhythmias. Each chapter includes objectives. Illustrations and ECG strips are very clear and of good educational quality. There are no references.
Assessment: The author has made highly effective use of ECG strips and illustrations in this clearly written and well-organized book. The treatment modalities described in the book are adequate, although the latest ACLS protocols are not consistently followed. The author addresses this inconsistency by citing geographic and practice variations, and by recommending that readers check with their facility for antidysrhythmia protocols. The older treatments identified are indeed quite realistic, as many facilities have not yet changed practice to reflect the newest ACLS protocols. The lack of references is a significant drawback, as it is not possible for the reader to refer directly to the source for information found in the text. The second edition has apparently increased the amount of A&P described and has modified the treatment sections, so the new edition is justified. The book would be useful for anyone learning to interpret ECGs, including nursing, medical, and allied health students, and practicing professionals who are new to reading single-lead ECGs.