While the determination of an abnormal electrical axis is not considered to be diagnostic, it will lend support to suspicions of abnormalities such as hypertrophy or intraventricular conduction defects. In some instances the recognition of axis deviation may be the first indication of underlying heart disease in an otherwise asymptomatic patient. Axis deviation can be determined easily in the critical care setting and should become as routine to the critical care nurse as the interpretation of a rhythm strip.

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