An electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG is a simple, painless test that measures your hearts electrical activity. This test is a noninvasive way for medical personnel to better diagnose many of the most common heart problems that people have. In most instances, an EKG can be done in a clinic and can be completed in 10 minutes.
When might a Doctor recommend an EKG?
EKGs are often required prior to surgery or as part of a physical once a certain age is reached. They are also recommended if a heart problem is suspected. Some of the most common symptoms or signs that suggest a patient might have a heart problem might include pain in your chest, trouble breathing, dizziness, feeling excessively tired, fluttering in your heart, uneven heart beats, and swelling in the arms or legs.
An EKG will help the physician better understand your medical condition so that the right kind of treatment plan can be established.
What happens during an EKG exam?
A medical assistant will attach 12 to 15 soft electrodes with a gel to your chest, arms, and legs. Each electrode is small, about the size of a quarter. These electrodes are attached to electrical wires that lead into an EKG machine.
During the test, you lie down on a table while the machine records the electrical activity in your heart. The information is then recorded onto a graph. To improve results, make sure you do not talk or move around during the test. The entire process is quick and painless
More specialized EKGs
There are a few ways you can perform an EKGs test. For example, a Stress test is performed while you are exercising, such as on a treadmill. A Holter monitor, or ambulatory EKG regards your hearts activity over 1-2 days while you maintain your normal daily activities. The results are recorded on a small battery powered portable device
When should you get an EKG?
Heart complications can be serious. If you are noticing any of the symptoms described in this article, you need to get a medical evaluation. An EKG is a quick and easy way for your physician to obtain a wealth of information about your heart so that a customized medical plan can be made to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
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