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Electrocardiogram Test (ECG or EKG)

An ecg test is a test that checks for issues with the electrical activity of the heart during expansion and contraction. The ekg test machine is the machine that records the activity taking place and displays in the form of waves. It’s common for doctors to look at the dips and spikes on readings to be used as a way to interpret the health of the heart and the body overall. If the beating of the heart is not within the safe range, then the patient would be suffering from arrhythmia.

The ecg test is conducted by placing electrodes on the limbs and the chest of the patient. A gel is applied on the spots where the electrodes have to be connected. Often, hairy patients who take an ekg test have to have the hair from their body shaved off before placing the electrodes as it could interfere with recording heart activity at the ecg center.

The benefits of ECG tests are:

  • helps to determine if the pain is coming from the heart or from another organ in the body.
  • help doctors determine other heart problems like imbalances in the blood chemicals that control heart activity, cardiac arrest taking place, inflammation of the heart, poor blood supply to the heart, congenital defects involving the electrical systems of the heart and enlargements of the heart.

There are 3 types of test;

  • Resting ECG :  the patient must not move or speak during this test. It only takes between 5-10 minutes to complete this test .
  • Ambulatory ECG :  A portable machine is attached to the patient but he or she is free to move normally as this kind of testing is used for patients who have sudden symptoms or are recovering from a cardiac disease/cardiac arrest. It is a way of monitoring them for future occurrences.
  • Cardiac stress test :  This is done on patients when they are involved in a physically strenuous activity like cycling on a stationary bicycle or running on a treadmill. Electrical activity is monitored while the activity takes place between 15-30 minutes.