Everyone knows that an EKG machine is used to diagnose and detect cardiac problems. It’s one of the most common testing machines in the hospital, but it can actually do several different tests for a wide variety of cardiac problems.
If you’re interested in purchasing an EKG machine, then knowing everything it can do helps with the buying process. Many times it’s not the doctors making buying decisions. If you’re in charge of purchasing a new EKG machine, but are unfamiliar with all it can do, then this article will help you out.
Preparing for a Standard EKG Test
An EKG test is one of the least invasive medical tests available. There are no needles or blood drawn and instead electrodes are placed on the outside of your body and it reads the electrical impulses that come from your heart.
The readings are printed out on paper or sent digitally for a doctor to read. Unlike other tests that require extensive preparation from fasting to drinking dyes and laxatives, EKG machines prep is easy.
The electrodes stick to the body through an adhesive. It’s important that nothing impedes the electrode or makes it difficult to stick to your skin. Avoid any oils or lotions prior to the test. Also, if you have hair where the electrodes go, then doctors may shave it.
It’s also important wear loose fitting clothing that isn’t difficult to remove.
A Standard Electrocardiogram
If you’re getting a standard EKG reading, then 10 electrodes are placed on your chest, arms and legs. You lay on a table and the EKG measure a resting heart rhythm. The doctors want a clear view of your heart rhythm, so they’ll keep you connected as long as they deem necessary.
Once the test is complete, the doctor reads the chart paper and determines if there are any irregularities or other issues. As a patient, you’re done. They remove the electrodes and you can go on your way.
Stress Test Monitoring
Problems with the heart aren’t always present during a resting EKG test. It’s possible the issues only present themselves during physical activity or doctors want to see how your heart reacts to physical activity. For this, patients undergo a stress test.
Instead of laying down for a resting EKG, you’re hooked up to a treadmill and connected to the EKG equipment. You walk or run on the treadmill and doctors gather the information about your heart rhythm.
Some heart issues don’t happen during a scheduled test and instead occur during random periods such as an abnormal heart rhythm. If you take a standard EKG test, then it would come out normal because the problem isn’t happening at that time.
Holter monitoring uses a small portable EKG that monitors your heart 24 hour a day for a couple days. This collects considerable data that doctors can review. There a high chance during the testing period that the health issue occurred and doctors can find it.
It’s also good for problems that happen over a period of time or occur infrequently such as heart palpitations and insufficient blood flow to the heart.
Holter monitoring is perfect for anything that happens occasionally so doctors can get an idea of how often it occurs, etc. If doctors only want to know information about specific events, then they might consider event monitoring.
With this, the patient has control of when the EKG machine begins testing. It’s a small portable EKH machine like in a Holter monitoring, but it’s connected to a button that the patient can press when a cardiac event happens.
The EKG begins testing for only a few minutes, but captured the event. Doctors don’t have to wade through hours of heart rhythms and they get information during the event itself.
EKGs are Versatile Machines
In one of our earlier articles, we went over how an EKG machine works. It’s not complicated, but it’s one of the most valuable and versatile testing machines for heart problems. Each of the tests done by an EKG machine is important and has saved many lives.
If you want to learn more about EKG machines or are interested in buying a one, then please explore our site. We have many resources available and a wide selection of types and price ranges.