Signal-averaged electrocardiography is a valuable diagnostic tool for determining which patients recovering from myocardial infarction are at risk of sudden death due to ventricular arrhythmias. Additionally, the value of this technique in determining which patients with ischemic heart disease and unexplained syncope are likely to have inducible sustained ventricular tachycardia has been established. This noninvasive screening procedure has shown promise in other clinical situations, but more investigation is needed before definitive recommendation can be made. Critical care nurses can help promote the success of signal-averaged electrocardiography by educating patients, promoting acquisition of a quality recording, helping allay patients' concerns, and participating in research activities.

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