A portable EKG machine to monitor your heart's electrical impulses
A Holter monitor is a portable EKG machine that monitors the electrical impulses of the heart for a period of 24 hours up to five days. The Holter monitor can help in the diagnosis of an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), to monitor existing pacemakers, or to test for appropriate blood flow to the heart.
For most patients, an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) test in the physician’s or cardiologist’s office provides enough information on the condition of their heart. However, in some cases it can be useful to have a record of the heart’s electrical activity while a patient goes about his or her activities of daily life.
During the procedure:
The skin is cleaned and electrodes are attached to various areas on the chest. Wires leading from the electrodes run to a small box the size of a cellphone that can be clipped to a belt. Once the monitor is in place, you will be allowed to return home and resume your normal activities. Do not shower or bathe while the monitor is in place because this will prevent the electrodes from reading electrical activity in the heart. While you are wearing the monitor, you will also keep a diary of your activities and symptoms. When the test period is complete, you will return to your physician’s office, where the monitor will be removed and the data will be entered into a computer.
After the procedure:
The results of your exam will be reviewed and forwarded to your Hurley physician. EKG charts are generally kept on file so that newer test results can be compared to older test results in order to identify changes in heart function.