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Dr. Avadesh Kumar

12 Lead ECG Placement Mnemonics

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12 Lead ECG Placement Mnemonics helps to remember placement of chest and limb ECG leads. Often the respective leads indicators are marked on chest leads. Limb leads are color coded and marked too. 

There are three types of ECG leads available:

  • Banana Type
  • Snap Type
  • Pinch/Clip/Grabber Type


Banana Type leads are common with old pattern of ECG machines. Chest leads are marked with C1, C2 or like V1, V2. Todays leads also carries a color coding.


Snap Type is used very frequently and attached to the connector with a snap or button. Easy to use with disposal type of connectors and these are frequently used in ICU, NICU and Emergency deptts. Apart from color coding, often chest lead numbers are marked as V1, V2.. and Limb leads as RA, RL, LL, LA.


The other type is Pinch type ECG lead  and it has a  clip type mouth to connect to the connector. 

In most cases, the leads are numbered, so that you dont have to remember them. It is true for both chest leads as well limb leads. The problem arises when the numbers fall off due wear and tear or when not numbered at all. In this case the color coding helps. 

The 12 ECG chest lead standard color coding are like this:

12 Lead ECG Placement Mnemonics.jpg

With the help of numbering and color coding any lay man can place ECG leads without a mnemonic. But when only color coding is there it is really difficult. With the help of this mnemonic one can remember the color corresponding the lead. Real Yummy Glass of Bear Brings Peace 

Red> V1, Yellow> V2, Green> V3, Brown> V4, Black> V5, Purple> V6

For limb leads starting anticlockwise from right hand>  Wrong Gemstones Return Badluck: White for Right Hand, Green for Right Leg, Red for Left Leg and Black for Left hand

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