Sinus Arrest - Course # 313-8


  • Sinus Arrest occurs when there is a sudden absence of electrical activity initiated by the SA node. This results in a pause in the electrical activity seen on the tracing. Remember, no electrical activity = no depolarization and contraction. Hence, a drop in blood pressure.
  • The longer the pause, the further the blood pressure will drop.
  • A pause of six-seconds is considered a medical emergency and emergency procedures must be initiated.
  • The rhythm typically will demonstrate constant R to R intervals prior to and following the pause. This pause results in the rhythm tracing presenting as irregular.


sinus arrest ekg tracing
  • It is important to measure the duration of the pause and report this information along with the frequency of the pauses if there are more than one.
  • The pause is measured by placing your caliper tips on the last R wave just prior to the pause and the R wave immediately following the pause. Count the number of small boxes and multiply by 0.04 second. This will be reported as part of the interpretation.

Practice Strip

Sinus Arrest - Practice Strip

sinus arrest ekg tracing
  • Analyze this tracing using the five steps of rhythm analysis.
  • Compare your answers with the answers on the next slide.


Practice Strip - Answers

sinus arrest ekg tracing
  • Rhythm: Irregular
  • Rate: 40 bpm
  • P wave: upright and uniform
  • PR interval: 0.16 sec
  • QRS: 0.10 sec
  • Interpretation: Sinus Arrest, 3.52 second pause

313 Sinus Arrest - Course # 313-8