How It Is Done continued...
While wearing the continuous recorder, you will also be asked to
keep a diary of all your activities and symptoms, including the type of
activity you were doing and the time your symptoms started. In the diary, write
down the exact times when you exercise, climb stairs, eat, urinate, have a
bowel movement, have sex, sleep, get emotionally upset, take medicine, or
perform other activities. If you have any symptoms of heart problems, such as
dizziness, fainting, chest pain, or palpitations, push the event-marker button
on the recorder to mark it and 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."
When you sleep, try to stay on your back with the recorder
carefully positioned at your side so that the electrodes are not 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,
metal detectors, high-voltage areas, garage door openers, microwave ovens, and
electric blankets. Do not use an electric toothbrush or shaver. Signals from
these types of electronic equipment can sometimes interfere with 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
return to the doctor's office or hospital to have the electrodes removed, or
you may be able to remove the electrodes yourself. You will return the Holter monitor to your doctor's office or hospital. The recorded tape will be
read by computer to provide information about your heart rate, the frequency of
your heartbeats, and any irregularities.
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