WHAT IS AN ELECTROCARDIOGRAM/EKG?
electrocardiogram, also called EKG or ECG,
is a diagnostic test that analyzes the electrical impulses of the
heart. It can detect and locate the source of many heart problems.
signals in the heart trigger heartbeats. They start at the top of
the heart (right atrium) and travel to the bottom causing the heart
muscle to contract, pumping blood to the rest of the body.
An EKG reveals the speed of the heartbeat, the rhythm (steady or irregular) and the location of where the heartbeat is recorded.
View of a EKG Machine
(click on picture)
HOW IS AN EKG PERFORMED?
technician will attach 10 soft patches called electrodes to your chest
and arms. If you are a man, a small patch of hair may have to be shaven
for the electrode to attach appropriately.
will then be asked to lie still on an examination table for a few
minutes while the electrodes detect the electrical impulses of your
heart. A machine records these signals which will be interpreted
by our board certified cardiologists. This test is completely harmless and painless and will take approximately 3-5 minutes.
WHAT DOES AN EKG REVEAL?
heart problems change the electrical signature of the heart in distinct
ways. An EKG test can help reveal some of these problems:
EKG can also help physicians diagnose a heart attack that is happening
now or has happened in the past. They compare a current EKG to an
older one to determine how severe the damage is, if any, and take
Heart Attack, lack of blood flow to the heart muscle
Irregular heartbeat, too fast or too slow
Weak pumping hearts
Heart muscle that is too thick
Parts of the heart that are too big
Birth defects in the heart
Disease in the heart valves between the different heart chambers