Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsSo I'm going to use this skeleton to just show in a bit more detail how to place the electrodes on the chest. Right, so the first thing you're going to do is look for the top of the sternum, which is called the sternal notch, and then you'll run your finger down until you feel a ridge, which is called the angle of Louis. It should be around about 3 and 1/2 to 4 centimetres down from the top. And then when you feel that ridge, you should just let your finger slide to the right size and slightly down. And then you should find that your finger just drops into the second intercostal space.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsAnd then from there, you can just feel down to the third intercostal space, and then the fourth intercostal space. And that is the location of the V1 electrode. So it's in the fourth intercostal space to the right of the sternum. You would do exactly the same procedure to find the V2 location. So you start at the top, let your finger drop until you feel the ridge, and then you will go to the left side, in this case, and down. And your finger should drop into the second intercostal space. And then you feel down to the third and the fourth. And then that will be your location for the V2 electrode.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 secondsSo that's the fourth intercostal space to the left of the sternum. And then I'm going to move on to looking at how to locate V4. So that will be in the midclavicular line, which is in the middle of the collarbone. And then also the fifth intercostal space. So I'm just going to bring my hand down, and I'm looking for the fifth intercostal space and the midclavicular line. So I'm going to just pop my electrode on there.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 secondsAnd then V3 can literally just go halfway between V2 and V4. So, I'm just going to put that electrode halfway between.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 secondsTo find the position of V5, we're going to use the same horizontal line as we've got now for V4. And I'm looking for the front of the armpit, so the anterior axillary line. So I'm just going to put my electrode there. So that's in the same horizontal line as before, and in the anterior axillary line. And then for V6, it's the middle of the armpit, or the midaxillary line. And also, in the same horizontal plane as we've got for V4 and V5. So I'm just going to put the electrode around about there. And there are the locations for the chest electrodes.

How to place chest electrodes for an ECG

In this video, our lead course educator, Jo Gregory, gives us a more in depth guide on how to place the electrodes for an ECG, using a model skeleton as her ‘patient’.

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This video is from the free online course:

ECG Assessment: an Introduction for Healthcare Providers

St George's, University of London