How It Feels
The electrodes may feel cool when they
are put on your chest. If you have a lot of hair on your chest, a small area
may need to be shaved to put the electrodes on. When the electrodes are taken
off, they may pull your skin a little.
There is no chance of problems while having an
electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). An EKG is a completely safe test. In most
cases, there is no reason why you should not be able to get an EKG.
The electrodes are used to transfer an image of the electrical activity
of your heart to tracing on paper. No electricity passes through your body from
the machine, and there is no danger of getting an electrical shock.
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a
test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An
EKG translates the heart's electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The
spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves.
usually takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
Your doctor will look
at the pattern of spikes and dips on your electrocardiogram to check the
electrical activity in different parts of your heart. The spikes and dips are
grouped into different sections that show how your heart is working. See a
picture that explains the
EKG components and intervals .
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) results
| Normal: |
The heart beats in a regular rhythm, usually
between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
The tracing looks normal.
The heart beats too slow (less than 60 beats
The heart beats too fast (more than 100 beats per
The heart rhythm is not regular.
The tracing does not look
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Not having the electrodes securely attached to
- Moving or talking during the
- Exercising before the test.
- Being anxious or
breathing very deeply or rapidly.