ECG Question #11


A nurse is caring for a client who complained of sudden weakness, palpitations, and shortness of breath. The following electrocardiogram (ECG) is depicted below:

The nurse identifies the ECG as:


  1. Ventricular tachycardia
  2. Atrial flutter
  3. Atrial fibrillation
  4. First-degree heart block


Atrial fibrillation consists of multi-foci impulses, which are disorganized, usually without discernable P waves, and may have a rapid atrial rate of 350 – 600 bpm. The quivering atria may place the client at risk for thrombus formation. Symptoms of weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitations, and chest pain may occur. The rhythm of ventricular tachycardia has three or more premature ventricular contractions in a row with a rate of at least 100 bpm. Atrial flutter causes a rapid, regular atrial impulse at a rate between 250 and 400 bpm. First-degree heart block occurs when all the atrial impulses are conducted through the AV node into the ventricles at a rate slower than normal.