Electrocardiogram

Explanation of the Test

This test is designed to give your doctor more information about the working of your heart.

The electrocardiogram is commonly referred to as an ECG or EKG. The EKG records the electrical impulses of the heart that originate in the heart's natural pacemaker and signal the heart muscle to contract. This is a chain event of electrical signals that produces a wave pattern that can be measured and recorded on paper. A heart that is functioning normally produces a standard pattern. Changes in the pattern can indicate a problem such as an abnormal heart rhythm. An irregular pattern may show strain or damage to the heart.

During the procedure, you will be asked to lie down on a bed. The technician will apply a gel that helps to transmit the electrical impulses. Small discs containing electrodes are then positioned at certain locations on the chest, arms and legs. The electrodes are connected by wires (leads) to the EKG machine.

Preparation

There is no special preparation necessary for this test.

General Information

  • The test takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • You should continue to take your regular medications, unless told to do otherwise by your physician for another test.
  • There is no radiation (x-ray) involved with this test.
  • Any further questions about how the test is performed should be asked of the technician when you arrive for the test or you can call the Heart Station at 773-665-3187.
  • Your doctor will receive the final results after the test is interpreted by the cardiologist, usually within 3 days.
  • If you are unable to keep your appointment or will be late, please call the Heart Station at 773-665-3187 as far in advance as possible.
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