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What Is an Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) Check: Objective & Sorts

Your physician might counsel you get an electrocardiogram — additionally referred to as an EKG or ECG — to test for indicators of coronary heart illness. It is a check that data {the electrical} exercise of your ticker by way of small electrode patches {that a} technician attaches to the pores and skin of your chest, arms, and legs.

EKGs are fast, protected, and painless. With this check, your physician will be capable to:

  • Test your coronary heart rhythm
  • See if in case you have poor blood move to your coronary heart muscle (that is referred to as ischemia)
  • Diagnose a coronary heart assault
  • Test on issues which can be irregular, comparable to thickened coronary heart muscle
  • Detect if there are important electrolyte abnormalities, comparable to excessive potassium or excessive or low calcium.

How Ought to I Put together?

Some issues you are able to do to get your self prepared:

  • Keep away from oily or greasy pores and skin lotions and lotions the day of the check as a result of they’ll preserve the electrodes from making contact together with your pores and skin.
  • Keep away from full-length hosiery, as a result of electrodes have to be positioned instantly in your legs.
  • Put on a shirt which you can take away simply to position the leads in your chest.

What Occurs Throughout an Electrocardiogram?

A technician will connect 10 electrodes with adhesive pads to the pores and skin of your chest, arms, and legs. For those who’re a man, it’s possible you’ll must have your chest hair shaved to permit a greater connection.

Throughout the check you may lie flat whereas a pc creates an image, on graph paper, of {the electrical} impulses that transfer by way of your coronary heart. That is referred to as a “resting” EKG, though the identical check could also be used to test your coronary heart when you train.

It takes about 10 minutes to connect the electrodes and full the check, however the precise recording takes just a few seconds.

Your physician will preserve your EKG patterns on file in order that they’ll evaluate them to exams you get sooner or later.

Varieties of EKG Exams

In addition to the usual EKG, your physician might advocate different kinds: 

Holter monitor. It is a transportable EKG that checks {the electrical} exercise of your coronary heart for 1 to 2 days, 24-hours a day. Your physician might counsel it if they believe you’ve an irregular coronary heart rhythm, you’ve palpitations, or do not have sufficient blood move to your coronary heart muscle.

Like the usual EKG, it is painless. The electrodes from the monitor are taped to your pores and skin. As soon as they’re in place, you’ll be able to go house and do your whole regular actions besides bathe. Your physician will ask you to maintain a diary of what you probably did and any signs you discover.

Occasion monitor. Your physician might counsel this machine if you happen to solely get signs from time to time. Once you push a button, it can document and retailer your coronary heart’s electrical exercise for a couple of minutes. You might must put on it for weeks or typically months.

Every time you discover signs, you need to attempt to get a studying on the monitor. The information is distributed on the telephone to your physician, who will analyze it.

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