An EKG measures the electrical activity of your heart
The electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a machine that uses electrodes to measure the electrical activity of the heart and records this activity on graph paper. These graphs can then be reviewed by a skilled cardiologist for signs of abnormal heart functioning. This diagnostic procedure is fast and pain-free, and is often used in a doctor’s office as part of a routine physical examination.
An EKG can help identify abnormal heart rhythms, structural abnormalities of the heart, poor blood flow to the heart muscle and heart attack.
Before the procedure:
Since the electrodes will be placed on the chest, arms and possibly on the legs, you should wear a shirt that can be easily removed or opened and socks or stockings that can be taken off. Do not use any lotions or oils on the skin the day before or the day of the procedure, as these products may make it difficult for the electrodes to stick to the body.
During the procedure:
The EKG is a painless, non-invasive procedure that takes approximately ten minutes to complete. A member of the medical staff will attach several electrodes with adhesive pads to the skin of your chest, arms and legs (for men with chest hair, this may be clipped where the electrodes will be applied in order to create a better connection). While you lie on the examination table, the computer will track and chart the electrical impulses in your heart.
After the procedure:
If the EKG was taken during a normal physical examination, your physician will share the results of the test with you. If the test is conducted by a Hurley cardiologist, the results of your exam will be reviewed and forwarded to your physician. EKG charts are generally kept on file so that newer test results can be compared to older ones to identify significant changes in heart function.
Hurley’s new patient monitoring system now gives doctors, nurses and other clinicians the ability to view patients’ vital information right at their bedsides rather than from a central location on a hospital floor. This highly innovative telemetry technology, Philips IntelliVue MX40 Patient Monitoring, can be used on any type of patient but is primarily used on cardiac patients. The mobile monitors, which are about the size of a deck of cards, help clinicians spend more time with patients because the monitor’s display allows them to quickly check ECG rhythms, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, trends and monitoring status. Another important feature of the monitors is that they can stay with patients even if the patients are moved to a different floor or area of the hospital.