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Ask the Experts
Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that is done to measure and check the electrical activities of the heartbeat. It's a common test used to identify heart issues and screen the heart's status in many situations. With each beat, an electrical impulse (or "wave") goes through the heart. This wave makes the muscle to compress and pump blood from the heart.
You may require an ECG test when you have risk factors for heat-related illness, for example, hypertension, palpitations or chest pain or you already have heart diseases. If your heartbeat is normal, then ECG will show the timing of the upper and lower chambers.
WHY IS IT DONE?
To begin with, by measuring the time intervals on the ECG, a specialist can decide to what extent the electrical wave takes to go through the heart. Finding out to what extent a wave takes to go starting with one part of the heart to another one shows if the electrical activity is normal or moderate, quick or irregular. Second, by measuring the electrical activity going through the heart muscle, a cardiologist might have an option to see whether parts of the heart are excessively huge or are exhausted.
ECG is a non-invasive and painless process that helps to diagnose many heart problems. Doctor may use ECG to diagnose or detect:
- Abnormality in your arrhythmias (Heart rhythm)
- Coronary artery disease
- To check how well ongoing treatment is going on
- Structural problems with the heart’s chamber
Here are symptoms or signs when your doctor recommends ECG:
- Chest pain
- Trouble in breathing
- Feeling tired and weak
- Detection of unusual sounds
- Flickering of the heart
HOW IS IT DONE?
Before going to the exam, your doctor may ask you to wear the hospital gown and also ask you to remove the jewelry. After that, you may need to be lying down on a table, and then the expert applies gel on the patient's chest and attaches 12 to 15 soft electrodes to the patient’s chest, and sometimes on the limbs. The electrode is about the size of a quarter that attached to the electric wires, which are then attached to the ECG machine.
The machine records the heart’s electrical activity and created a graph of the given information. Once the procedure is done, the electrodes are removed. The procedure takes about 10-15 minutes.
Tips before going to the procedure:
- Do not smoke before the test.
- Do not talk during the test.
- During the procedure, make sure to lie down normally and breathe normally.
- Do not drink cold water and avoid exercising before the test.