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Step 2 - Heart Rate Regular - Course # 318-5

Regular Rhythms

  • If the rhythm varies by less than two small boxes, then the rhythm is considered regular.
  • The heart rate determination technique used will be the 1500 technique.
  • Starting at the beginning of the tracing through the end, measure from one R wave to the next R wave (ventricular assessment), then P wave to P wave (atrial assessment), then count the number of small boxes between each and divide that number into 1500.
  • This technique will give you the most accurate heart rate when analyzing regular heart rhythms. You may include ½ of a small box i.e. 37.5/1500 = 40 bpm (don’t forget to round up or down if a portion of a beat is included in the answer).
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Irregular Rhythms

  • If the rhythm varies by two small boxes or more, the rhythm is considered “irregular”.
  • The heart rate determination technique used for irregular rhythms will be the “six-second technique”.
  • Simply count the number of complete cardiac complexes in six seconds and multiply by ten.
analysis ecg image 107

Practice 1

Analyze this tracing. What is the heart rate?

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Reveal Answer


Practice 2

Analyze this tracing. What is the heart rate?

analysis ecg image 105
Reveal Answer





318 Step 2 - Heart Rate Regular - Course # 318-5