File Name: ecg advantages and disadvantages .zip
- What Is an Electrocardiogram (ECG)?
- What are the Benefits of Having an EKG?
- Cardiologists react to new Apple Watch ECG capabilities
It measures the electrical current that runs through your heart.
Articles in the December issue discuss various health issues affecting school-aged children, including acne, eczema and growth disorders. Volume 41, No. It considers areas such as indications, what to tell the patient, what the test can and cannot tell you, and interpretation of results.
What Is an Electrocardiogram (ECG)?
The electrocardiogram, also referred to as ECG, lead ECG, or EKG, is a non-invasive diagnostic test that evaluates your heart's electrical system to assess for heart disease. It uses flat metal electrodes placed on your chest to detect the electrical charges generated by your heart as it beats, which are then graphed.
An ECG detects your heart's electrical rhythm and produces what's known as a tracing, which looks like squiggly lines. This tracing consists of representations of several waves that recur with each heartbeat, about 60 to times per minute. The wave pattern should have a consistent shape. If your waves are not consistent, or if they do not appear as standard waves, this is indicative of heart disease. There are a variety of characteristic changes that occur with different heart concerns, and your doctor can look at your ECG wave patterns to see if they are suggestive of certain types of heart disease.
Many doctors order an ECG as part of a yearly medical examination to screen for heart disease. This may apply to you if:. An ECG may also be recommended if you have signs or symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting spells. Likewise, if you have signs of a TIA or stroke , such as vision changes, numbness, weakness, or communication problems, you are also likely to need an ECG because some types of heart disease can cause a stroke.
If you have heart disease, you may need periodic ECG testing to evaluate whether your disease is worsening and to monitor the treatment effects of your heart medications. An ECG is also required prior to any type of heart surgery, including surgery for pacemaker placement. A pre-operative screening ECG is required prior to any surgical procedure that involves general anesthesia because heart disease increases the risk of adverse events from general anesthesia and because this helps your anesthesiologists as they plan your anesthetic medications and surgical monitoring.
There are a number of conditions that can be detected when your doctor checks your pulse, such as tachycardia rapid heart rate , bradycardia slow heart rate , and arrhythmia irregular heart rate. EKG wave patterns not only verify these alterations in heart rhythm, certain changes in the shape of the waves provides information about the specific type of heart disease and which region in the heart is affected.
The ECG is one of the most commonly used tests in medicine because it can screen for a large variety of cardiac conditions, the machines are readily available in most medical facilities, the test is simple to perform, is safe, and relatively inexpensive. That said, an ECG has its limitations:. ECG is a safe test that does not cause health complications. There are no medical conditions associated with an increased risk or adverse side effects from ECG. If your doctor orders an ECG, you generally do not need to have any special tests or procedures to prepare for it.
In fact, you can have it right in the doctor's office if there is available time, space, and equipment. Sometimes, depending on the reason for your ECG, your doctor may ask you to stop taking some of your medications for a day or two before the test.
If you are having an ECG as part of a doctor's visit, anticipate needing an extra 10 to 15 minutes for the test. If you are going to have a special visit for the ECG, you should expect it to take longer because of the registration and check-in process. Often, an ECG is done in the doctor's office, sometimes in the same exam room where you are seeing the doctor. Your doctor's clinic may have a separate space where you may need to go to have your test. What to Wear.
You will need to change into a hospital gown so that electrodes can be placed on your chest. You may be asked to remove large necklaces or chains if they dangle or get in the way, but you do not need to worry about electrical interference from metal jewelry. Food and Drink. You can eat or drink whatever you want prior to your test. If your doctor is worried that you have an especially rapid heart rhythm, you may be asked to abstain from caffeine for six to 10 hours before the test.
Cost and Health Insurance. Generally, an ECG is covered by most health insurance plans, but there are always exceptions. If you are insured and concerned that your plan may not cover the test, or if you have a plan with minimal coverage, you might want to check your benefits in advance. As with many procedures, your plan may also require you to pay a copay, and you should be able to find out by calling the number on your insurance card.
What to Bring. When you go for your ECG, you should bring your test order form if applicable , your health insurance card, a form of identification, and a method of payment. Your test will be performed by a doctor, a nurse, or a technician. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and lay down on an examination table. Once in position, a total of ten electrodes are attached with a sticky, but easy-to-remove adhesive.
One electrode is placed on each arm and leg, and six on the chest. Throughout the Test. Each electrode is a flat, coin-shaped plate with wires attached to the ECG machine, which looks like a computer.
The electrodes detect electrical activity produced by the heart and transmit this information to the machine, where it is processed, and saved electronically or printed out as an ECG tracing. Readings will be taken for about five minutes.
During this time, you will be asked to remain still, as movement can disrupt the pattern. There is no pain or discomfort associated with this test. After the test, the electrodes are removed. If there is any sticky material remaining, it can be easily wiped off with an alcohol pad. You may experience some pulling of hair underneath the nodes, but generally, the technicians are very careful with taking them off. You should not expect any side effects after an ECG, and there are no limitations on your activity.
Rarely, the adhesive can cause allergic reactions or rashes, which may not be obvious until about 24 hours after the test. If you experience a rash in the area of the electrodes, call your doctor. By examining any abnormalities on the ECG and which leads they are stemming from, your doctor can get important clues about the status of the heart.
The Tracing. A tracing consists of repeated waves that have a standard shape. Different conditions are associated with changes in the height, width, and length of these waves, and the intervals between them. A shortened QT interval, for example, can be a sign of elevated blood calcium levels. Your ECG report may have a description of the wave pattern but is unlikely to describe your heart condition in detail because your doctor needs to take your medical history into account when determining whether or not you have or could have a heart condition.
Learning to read an ECG and recognize these patterns takes months of training and practice. Your doctor will be able to explain your results to you. Among many things, an ECG can indicate:. While the ECG can make a clear diagnosis of some cardiac conditions , such as a cardiac arrhythmia, it is more often used as a screening test. Therefore, abnormalities seen on the ECG often need to be followed by a more definitive test in order to make a firm diagnosis. This can allow your doctors to compare and look for changes over time.
Remember that this test is very common and your doctor recommending it isn't a confirmation that something is wrong with you. Did you know the most common forms of heart disease are largely preventable? Our guide will show you what puts you at risk, and how to take control of your heart health. Jan 31, Kim W, Kim EJ. Heart Failure as a Risk Factor for Stroke. J Stroke. Table of Contents View All. Table of Contents. Purpose of Test. Risks and Contraindications. Before the Test.
During the Test. Interpreting the Results. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.
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Bansal A, Joshi R. Portable out-of-hospital electrocardiography: A review of current technologies. J Arrhythm. Signal-averaged electrocardiography: Past, present, and future. Related Articles. How the Heart's Electrical System Works. How Heart Failure Is Diagnosed. What Is Cardioversion? The Heart: Anatomy, Function, and Conditions.
Automatic Tachycardias and the Heart's Electrical Impulses. What Is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?
What are the Benefits of Having an EKG?
The new Apple Watch enables wearers to take an ECG reading right from the wrist via electrodes and the electrical heart rate sensor build into the watch. With the app, users can receive a heart rhythm classification within 30 seconds, notifying users whether the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of atrial fibrillation, according to a press release issued by Apple. All related recordings, classifications and notes are stored in PDF format within the Health app for physicians to review upon request. This technology can also alert the user if the heart rate exceeds or falls below a specific threshold. The ECG app determines the presence of atrial fibrillation or sinus rhythm on a classifiable waveform. The ECG app is not recommended for users with other known arrhythmias.
ECG Pros and Cons: The GREAT. Debate Compare/contrast use of ECG in cardiac screening in athletes Sensitivity (low rate of false negatives) remained.
Cardiologists react to new Apple Watch ECG capabilities
Electrical activity of cardiac cells is responsible for the initiation of every heartbeat. The electrical activity can be normal, but the beat grossly inefficient. Any disturbances of the electrical activity may affect the efficiency of the heart.
The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of textile electrodes for ECG recording as a smart garment. Electrode textile pads and lead wires were sewn to the lining of sportswear and their tolerability to repeated washings were tested up to times.
A quick and pain-free heart test could let you know if you have heart problems. Called an electrocardiogram , this test can catch early signs of heart disease , pinpoint heart abnormalities, and help doctors determine how to treat any problems detected. In this blog, the doctors at Downtown Medical Group describe what the test involves and what it can detect. An electrocardiogram, also referred to as an EKG or ECG, is a test that doctors can perform to detect any abnormal heart rhythms as well as how fast or slow your heart beats. An EKG is one of the simplest and quickest ways to get an accurate reading of your heartbeat. It does so by reading the electrical impulses your heart sends out with every pulse.
Left ventricular hypertrophy LVH develops as a response to press or volume overload of the left ventricle. It is encountered in systemic hypertension, aortal stenosis and aortal insufficiency, mitral valve insufficiency, some congenital cardiac defects and hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. The most frequent cause of LVH in the adult population is hypertension. Prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy in hypertensive individuals varies considerably, depending on the applied diagnostic method and characteristic of the group of hypertonic subjects.