Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Good EKG Tattoos II

Look what I found!!!!!!!

I'm not alone! There are others out there who share in my compulsion!

I found it linked off of Reddit while searching for new material. The thread can be found here.

The OP is complaining about ambulances with bad EKGs on the side. Why? Why does this exist? Of all the people in the world who should know what a normal EKG looks like, wouldn't an AMBULANCE SERVICE HAVE THIS KNOWLEDGE??

One poster, Spax_, appropriately writes:

I guess I should clarify. An EKG/ECG is the electrical pattern that your heartbeat makes on a cardiac monitor (the thing that goes BEEEEEEEEEEP in movies when someone 'flatlines' and then George Clooney brings them back with his gleeming smile). That line isn't just a random scribble. It follows a set shape depending on the way that the heart is beating, it is composed of a p-wave the QRS-complex and a t-wave. These things all correspond to different movements within the heart. If you want a nice heart beat tattoo to remember someone by then please at least get them in a nice normal sinus rhythm, not an arrest rhythm. Because when you show me the latter stating 'this is to remember my aunty' my first thought is 'oh so she died in VF?'.
So, my dear readers, I present to you another round of good EKG tattoos which won't make people think that your cherished family member, enshrined by your sick "heart beep" tribal band, died of some kind of congenital heart defect.

This EKG tattoo shows a waveform shape that is very close to normal. I only have a couple complaints. First off, it looks kinda slow. The average person seeing your tattoo probably wouldn't pick up on this, but proportionally the individual beats appear slightly too far apart to fall within a normal range for heart rate. Secondly, the p wave of the second complex is biphasic, unlike the others. The third thing I would probably change is the way the final beat is cut off in mid T wave. Aside from these minor gripes I think this is an acceptable looking rhythm strip tattoo.


This one is so badass I'm willing to overlook it's minor issues as well. As with the tattoo above, it might be just slightly too slow to fall within the normal range of 60-100 beats per minute. The only other issue with the rhythm strip is that the QT interval appears fairly long. That is, the final wave of the beat - the large, humped T wave - looks just slightly too far away from the large, spiked QRS complex. But look at this! When you tick out the interval between R waves with the edge of a sheet of paper... the beats march out regularly throughout the whole strip, even behind the picture of the heart!!! If you don't know what I'm talking about, then just trust me that it's totally sweet. 

From what I can tell, the picture of the cutaway heart appears more or less anatomically correct, and those arrow heads and flames appear exactly the same as how they look inside of a real human body. Overall I really like this tattoo!


These ones rank as... good. I don't think that QRS complex is too wide proportionally, but it does seem to be borderline. Be cautious of how tall and peaked those T waves are. But overall, good. 

That's all for today. Before you get a  horrible EKG tattoo that you'll regret forever email me at drew.rinella [@] and I'll be glad to look over it for you, gratis.

Learn more about proper heart rhythms with the best book ever written on the subject



  1. Hey I would like to give you a second perception. Both my boy friend and I where diagnosed with heart defects within a few months of each other. Both causing pretty erratic ekg and holter readings.he has Wpw and I have an an paf to psvt type arrhythmia along with MVP. This all happened in our first year of dating and we where just 16 and 17 years old, and now we are 21, and 22 and have been dating 5 1/2 years. Our erratic ekgs have a little meaning

  2. There is a difference between erratic and inaccurate. Erratic EKGs are cool especially when they reflect an actual heart condition and have meaning to the person getting the tattoo. Inaccurate EKGs are just sad. People should be able to trust their tattoo artists to give them an accurate tattoo, and not some nasty arrhythmia they didnt want, or a bunch of nonsensical squiggly lines. I aim to give people the tools they need to make sure their EKG tattoos are as accurate as possible.

  3. I had a patient tattoos his 12-lead from his STEMI on his chest, he told me it was a reminder that he had a second chance at life, and not to waste it.

  4. Personally,I'm a nurse and i still dont understand the ugly ekg tattoo trend.Beauty is different to each person, but i would rather look at something rathet than squiqly lines to remember my loved one.I got my dog's actual pawprint when he passed and that to me has meaning.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...