ECG screening for SCD in young adults: Community volunteers can acquire higher quality ECGs than health professionals



  • We studied the quality of screening ECGs performed by community volunteers.
  • Volunteers underwent a 90 minute didactic session on how to perform ECGs.
  • ECGs were analyzed during consecutive Young Hearts for Life high school screenings.
  • Technical error rate for community volunteers was lower than that reported for ECG technicians and ICU staff.
  • ECG screenings utilizing trained community volunteers allow for technically accurate ECG tracings.



Background and purpose

ECG screening of young athletes for risk of sudden cardiac death has grown in popularity throughout the world. The purpose of this study is to assess the technical error rate of ECGs acquired by appropriately trained community volunteers compared to that reported in the literature utilizing trained medical personnel.


This is a retrospective study analyzing consecutive ECGs acquired during 5 successive high school screenings at 3 separate schools in 2011.


A total of 4477 consecutive ECGs were acquired and assessed for technical quality. The total rate of technically inadequate tracings was 0.34%. This is lower than that reported in outpatient clinics acquired by medically trained technicians (0.4%) and in ICUs acquired by nurses (4.8%).


This study demonstrates that the ECG training program utilized by the YH4L program for community volunteers results in a technical error rate that is lower than reported in the literature.

Autor / Fonte:Joseph C Marek, Sarah Ann Marek, Kathleen Ann Marek, Frank Zimmerman Journal of Electrocardiology 2015 March 11