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Electrocardiogram

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What do I need to know about an electrocardiogram?

An electrocardiogram is a test that measures the electrical activity of your heart. It is also called an EKG or ECG. It may be used to monitor your heart or to diagnose heart problems.


How do I prepare for an EKG?

Do not use lotion on your skin for 1 day before the test. Tell your healthcare provider about the medicines you take. Some medicine may affect the results of your EKG. Tell your healthcare provider if you have an allergy to adhesives.

What will happen during an EKG?

  • Your healthcare provider will place several patches, called electrodes, on your chest, arms, or legs. He may need to clean or shave a small area of skin if the patches will not stick. Your healthcare provider will attach a wire to each patch. The wires are connected to a monitor that will display the electrical activity of your heart. Lie still, and do not talk while the test is being done.
  • If you are in the hospital, your healthcare provider may want to monitor your heart continually. Some, or all, of the patches may be left on your chest. He may also do an EKG when you are resting, then again after you exercise or take medicine to stress your heart.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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