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EKG-readingThere might be a situation in your life and with your health that might call for when your doctor may suggest that you get an electrocardiogram, which is better known as an EKG or ECG. It’s a test that records the electrical activity of your heart through small electrode patches that a technician attaches to your chest, arms, and legs.

 

EKGs are typically quick, safe, and painless. Through an EKG, your doctor will be able to:

  • Check heart rhythm
  • Check for poor blood flow to your heart muscle (this is called ischemia)
  • Diagnose a heart attack
  • Check on abnormalities, such as thickened heart muscle
  • Detection of significant electrolyte abnormalities, such as high potassium or high or low calcium

How Should One Prepare For an EKG

  • Avoid oily or greasy skin creams & lotions on the day of the test because they keep the electrodes from making contact with your skin.
  • Avoid full-length hosiery, because electrodes need to be placed directly on your legs.
  • Wear a shirt that you can remove easily to place the leads on your chest.

What Happens During an EKG

Typically a technician will attach ten electrodes with adhesive pads to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs.  During the test, you will lie flat while a computer creates a picture, on graph paper, of the electrical impulses that move through your heart. This is called a “resting” EKG, although the same test may be used to check your heart while you exercise too.

It takes about ten minutes to attach the electrodes and complete the test, but the actual recording takes only a few seconds. Your doctor will keep your EKG patterns on file so that they can compare them to any tests you get in the future.

Types of EKG Tests

Besides the standard EKG, doctors may recommend other kinds of tests. Two common tests ordered are:

 

  • Holter Monitor. This is a portable EKG that checks the electrical activity of your heart for 1 to 2 days, 24-hours a day. Your doctor may suggest this monitor if they suspect you have an abnormal heart rhythm, you have palpitations, or don’t have enough blood flow to your heart muscle. The electrodes from the monitor are taped to the skin. Once they’re in place, you can go home and do all of your normal activities with the exception of showering. Your doctor will ask you to keep a diary of what you did and any symptoms you noticed.
  • Event Monitor. Your doctor may suggest this device if you only get symptoms now and then. When you push a button, it will record and store your heart’s electrical activity for a few minutes. You may need to wear it for weeks or sometimes months.

Anytime you notice symptoms, you should try to get a reading on a monitor. The info is sent on the phone to your doctor, who will analyze it. It checks to see if you’re at high risk of getting a condition called a heart arrhythmia, which can lead to cardiac arrest. The test is done in a similar way as a standard EKG, but it uses sophisticated technology to analyze your risk.

Hollywood Diagnostics Center has been recognized as a leader in the medical diagnostics field while performing over 30,000 diagnostic procedures annually.  This includes the EKGs discussed in this article. The center continues to be at the forefront of medical technology by progressively updating its equipment and procedures to reflect the latest advances in medicine. HDC is your complete, one source provider of all diagnostic services.

If you require for any reasons an MRI, a PET Scan, a mammogram, ultrasounds of any kind, an EKG or even a bone density scan, this is the center that can take care of all of those tests and needs and more. You can even request an appointment by clicking RIGHT HERE!

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