An electrocardiogram or EKG monitors and tests the heart for problems with electrical activity. A natural electrical system causes the heart muscle to contract, which pumps blood through the heart to the lungs and rest of the body. The EKG records these electrical signals as they travel through the heart. A physician will then analyze the patterns and rhythms of your heart demonstrated by the EKG to diagnose various heart conditions.
Primary Principles of EKG
EKG exams are safe and non-invasive. Electrodes are used to transfer an image of the heart’s electrical activity, but electricity is not passed through the body. There is no electric shock. If a heart is performing normally it will have a rhythm between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Tracing will look normal. An abnormal result will show heart beats below 60 beats per minute or above 100. An abnormal result might also be caused by a heart rhythm irregularity.
EKG exams cannot predict heart attacks. In some cases abnormal EKG results can only be shown during exercise. In that case your doctor may suggest a stress EKG which is conducting while having the patient run or speed walk on a treadmill.
Treatments & Therapies
Electrocardiograms (EKG) are conducted to check a patient’s heart health, but there’s much more to it.
An EKG is performed to:
- Check the heart’s electrical activity
- Determine the cause of chest pain or pressure
- Find the cause of heart disease symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, irregular
- heartbeat, etc.
- Determine the thickness of heart chamber walls
- Check the side effects of medications on the heart
- Check the performance of implanted heart devices
- Check the health of a heart with disease or when a patient has other health conditions
Many doctors will require an EKG exam before performing invasive surgery. This is done to ensure a patient is in good heart health before going into a surgical procedure or being given anesthesia.
EKG at Dayton Dandes Medical Center
At Dayton Dandes Medical Center we provide EKG exams in our convenient medical facility. Patients will be laid comfortably on a bed for the exam. Parts of the arms, legs and chest may be cleaned to provide a sterile surface for attaching electrodes. Electrodes are attached to the skin on each arm, leg and chest. These electrodes communicate with the machine that traces your heart activity onto paper. An EKG typically only lasts between five to ten minutes. Contact our medical center to schedule your EKG exam.