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Ambulatory Electrocardiogram

How It Is Done continued...

You will need to keep a diary of all your activities and symptoms while you wear the continuous recorder. You will write down the type of activity you were doing and the time your symptoms started. For example, write down the exact times when you:

  • Exercise or climb stairs.
  • Eat.
  • Urinate or have a bowel movement.
  • Have sex.
  • Sleep.
  • Get upset.
  • Take medicine.

If you have any symptoms of heart problems, such as dizziness, fainting, chest pain, or abnormal heartbeats, push the event-marker button on the recorder to mark it. Then write down the exact time and how long the symptom lasts. For example, you might write: "12:30 p.m. Ate lunch. 1:00 p.m. Argument with boss, had chest tightness for several minutes."

Try to sleep on your back with the recorder placed carefully at your side. This will help keep the electrodes from getting pulled off. If one of the electrodes or lead wires comes loose, a light on the monitor will flash. Press on the center of each electrode to see if you can restore the contact. Call your doctor if one of the electrodes comes off and you can't get it to stay on.

While you are wearing a monitor, try to stay away from magnets, remote controls for garage door openers, microwave ovens, and electric blankets. Do not use an electric toothbrush or shaver. And try to stay away from metal detectors and high-voltage areas. Signals from these types of electronic equipment can sometimes affect the recording.

What you and your doctor do after the test

At the end of the recording period (usually 24 to 72 hours), you will go to the doctor's office or hospital to have the electrodes removed. Or you may be able to take off the electrodes yourself. You will return the monitor to your doctor's office or hospital. The recording will be read by a computer. This will give information about your heart rate, how often your heart beats, and any signs of an abnormal heartbeat.

Your doctor will also look at your records of activities and symptoms and times they occurred. Your doctor will compare the timing of your activities and symptoms with the recorded heart pattern.

Implantable continuous recorders

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 26, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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