How to Place ECG Electrodes

It is highly important for medical professionals to obtain accurate ECG/EKG readings for the purpose of proper medical diagnosis and accurate medical knowledge. At Danlee Medical Products, Inc., we are your source for a wide range of ECG electrodes for sale that cardiology professionals use for patient care.

Before you buy ECG electrodes it is important to know how to place them properly on the body of a patient.

The following is a brief description of the 12 Lead ECG Placement Process:

Chest Placement

The process of placing electrodes should begin by placing six precordial electrodes to the chest of the patient. The medical professional placing these electrodes should identify the angle formed between the body of the sternum and the manubrium. This is the sternal notch which is also referred to as the Angle of Louis or the sternal angle. It has the feel of a modest horizontal ridge and is located approximately 1-1/2 inches from the top portion of the sternum. This location is the point of reference to be used to start placing electrodes on the chest.

V1 Electrode

Find the fourth intercostal space by beginning at the second rib and feeling along the right side of the sternal border until you locate it. Position the V1 electrode on the right-side edge of the sternal border.

V2 Electrode

Placement procedure and location is the same as for V2 except on the opposite (left) side of the body.

V4 Electrode

Place V4 prior to placing V3. From the center of the patient’s clavicle (referred to as the midclavicular line), draw an imaginary line downwards, positioning the V4 at the second intercostal space.

V3 Electrode

Position V3 halfway between V4 and V2. With female patients, precordial leads should be positioned below the breast tissue.

V5 Electrode

On the same horizontal plane, position V5 exactly between V4 and V6. Also, on the same horizontal plane as V4, locate the anterior axillary line.

V6 Electrode

At the mid-axillary line, position the fifth intercostal space. While drawing an imaginary line downward from the mid-axillary line (the armpit) position V6 at the fifth intercostal space. Along the fifth intercostal space, electrodes V4, V5, and V6 should be aligned horizontally.

Placement of Limb Electrodes

Uniformity of placement is crucial when it comes to placing limb electrodes. Electrodes should be placed on the same approximate space on each limb (left and right). Proper placement results in something called Einthoven’s triangle, which is an imaginary symmetrical configuration between the left and right limbs.

Here are the proper right and left limb electrode placements:

Right Arm (RA)

Position the RA electrode on the right arm between the right elbow and right shoulder.

Right Leg (RL)

Position the RL electrode at any location on the right leg below the torso and above the ankle.

Left Arm (LA)

Position the LA electrode on the left arm between the left elbow and left shoulder.

Left Leg (LL)

Position the LL electrode on the left leg above the ankle and below the torso.

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