An electrocardiogram is a simple, painless test that measures your heart’s electrical activity. It’s also known as an ECG or EKG. Every heartbeat is triggered by an electrical signal that starts at the top of your heart and travels to the bottom. Heart problems often affect the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor may recommend an EKG if you’re experiencing symptoms or signs that may suggest a heart problem, including:
- Pain in your chest
- Trouble breathing
- Feeling tired or weak
- Pounding, racing, or fluttering of your heart
- A feeling that your heart is beating unevenly
- Detection of unusual sounds when your doctor listens to your heart
However, it does not show whether you have asymptomatic blockages in your heart arteries or predict your risk of a future heart attack.
An EKG will help your doctor determine the cause of your symptoms along with what type of treatment might be necessary.
If you’re 50 or older or if you have a family history of heart disease, your doctor may also order an EKG to look for early signs of heart disease.
What happens during an electrocardiogram?
An ECG is quick, painless, and harmless. After you change into a gown, a technician attaches 12 to 15 soft electrodes with a gel to your chest, arms, and legs. The technician may have to shave small areas to ensure the electrodes stick properly to your skin. Each electrode is about the size of a quarter. These electrodes are attached to electrical leads (wires), which are then attached to the EKG machine.
During the test, you’ll need to lie still on a table while the machine records your heart’s electrical activity and places the information on a graph. Make sure to lie as still as possible and breathe normally. You shouldn’t talk during the test.
After the procedure, the electrodes are removed and discarded. The entire procedure takes about 10 minutes.
12 lead ECG for both adult and paediatric age group is performed at Muhil Heart Centre by Mortara ELI 250c machine imported from the US.