For this test we begin by placing the patient on his back on an examination table and with the chest uncovered, then we place electrode on specific areas of the heart. Subsequently, the patient is asked to remain still for a few minutes, then the electrocardiogram tracing gets activated by the doctor. This translates the signals obtained by the electrodes, making traces on the ekg paper the recording will be interpreted by the cardiologist.
There are many reasons why these tests are ordered. It is sometimes used as a routine test, or as pre-operative evaluations, to make sure a heart disorder is not present prior to undergoing a surgical intervention.
The electrocardiogram is usually performed when heart disease is suspected. The ECG detects heart rhythm alterations (arrhythmias), morphological changes in the heart (heart enlargement), as well as disorders derived from coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease, which is one of the most common reasons for the test. Assessment of chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, etc. Sometimes it is used to assess whether a pacemaker works in a patient who has presented a loss of consciousness, on other occasions, to assess the changes that occur after having administered a certain drug to the patient.
We recommended to remove jewelry or other ornaments before performing the test, as well as to avoid exercising previously, since it could register a faster heart than normal and it could be seen as distortion when the cardiologist interprets the EKG. It is convenient, as in all diagnostic tests, to inform your doctor of the medications you are regularly using, and if they were taken prior to the test.
Other types of EKGs are required for special conditions, in the case of the stress test which is an electrocardiographic reading while exercising on a treadmill, or holter monitoring that performs an electrocardiographic study of 24 hours during the patient's daily activities.
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