Need a Heart Monitor ?

Book your appointment with Consultant Cardiologist Dr Gill

An electrocardiogram test (Private ECG) is one of the most commonly used tests for the heart. It uses of electrodes (small stickers) fixed to the surface of the skin that can measure the tiny electrical impulses given out by the heart during its normal pumping operation. An ECG can monitor the regularity of heartbeats and diagnose some of the more common problems or diseases associated with the heart.

A 24 hour heart monitor (also called a Holter monitor) is an advancement in ECG technology which makes it possible to monitor the heart rate of a patient continuously over a period of time. It is a small portable device that records the patient’s heart rate & rhythm on to a memory card contained in the device, via electrodes attached to the skin. The number of electrodes can vary depending on the situation of the patient.

This gadget can be hung around the neck, attached to the chest or clipped on to trousers/skirt, in order to efficiently monitor the heart rate of the patient.

Depending on how often a person has symptoms (feeling a fast heart rate, heart thumping or awareness of missed beats) a heart monitor can be worn from 24 hours to a few weeks. The information recorded by these devices is analysed by a technician or doctor. The patient is often asked to keep a diary of symptoms, for example, if you felt your heart thumping hard while lying in bed or missed beats while watching TV, you should record the time on a piece of paper together with what you felt. We can then look at the heart recording to see what your heart was doing at those specific times.

Making sure that the heart monitor records accurate results

This is a fairly simple and straight forward test, however, in order to get the best results, you need to make sure that you carry on with your regular day to day activities and not follow any forced or different routine (unless requested to do so). It is important for the patient to avoid any strong electrical fields or areas of high voltage such as metal detectors or other similar devices. Any specific ‘Do’s & Don’ts’ will normally be explained by the person fitting the device to the patient

 

Risks/complications

Like the ECG, a heart monitor is a non-invasive procedure and therefore has no risks and side effects to the patients. However, the electrodes (stickers) used, the patient can experience a slight rash or skin irritation. This is not normally dangerous & resolves after a few days.

Please get in touch if you feel you have blood pressure problems, to arrange a consultation and/or a 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitor.