How do I Calculate Heart Rate ECG Per 6 Seconds?

Written by alex ramirez
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How do I Calculate Heart Rate ECG Per 6 Seconds?
ECGs can be great for observing and calculating heart rates. (ecg image by JASON WINTER from

ECGs can be beneficial to those suffering from heart disease, as it is one of the best ways to observe and calculate heart rate. There are many ways to calculate heart rate with an ECG, but one of the most common methods is "The Rule of 6." This takes the QRS complex, which are short readings of the ventricular rate, from a span of 6 seconds and multiplies it by 10.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine whether the heart rate is regular or irregular. "The Rule of Six" cannot be used on an irregular heartbeat. Irregular heartbeats do not follow a common pattern, making counting the QRS complex too difficult.

  2. 2

    Count out 6 seconds on the sheet of paper being printed by the ECG machine.

  3. 3

    Measure the QRS complex in the 6-second time frame. This can be done by measuring all the bumps, almost like tiny beats, that place in the 6 seconds.

  4. 4

    Multiply the QRS complex by 10. This will give the patient's heart rate per minute.

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