The need for a chest electrode which would remain in place without being held by the physician or his assistant has been apparent for a long time. Sandbags of various shapes, elastic bands, weighted straps, and a rubber suction cup enclosing an electrode have been devised. None of these has been completely satisfactory and none has had widespread use. Most physicians have continued to prefer to hold, or to have an assistant hold, the electrode in place.
The elastic straps used to hold the limb electrodes have not, apparently, caused much concern. Although they are untidy and clumsy to apply and often cause discomfort, they have been accepted as necessary without much thought having been given to the problem.
The obvious need for a simple, all-purpose electrode led me to design the self-retaining electrode described in this paper. A supply of these electrodes was made1 and found to be
Welsh W. SELF-RETAINING ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHIC ELECTRODE. JAMA. 1951;147(11):1042–1044. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.73670280007012c
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