Some Basic Facts about EKG that You Have to Know
I believe that you must have heard or had an EKG done. Whether in a hospital or cardiology clinic, the electrocardiogram is a routine examination.
Though familiar with the term EKG, most people know little about it. One of my friends even told me, “when doing an EKG test, I worry about getting an electrical shock! Every time when I am going to do a 12-lead EKG, I feel nervous.” Actually, EKG is a safe, non-invasive, painless test and has no major risks.
As EKG is the most common physical examination, there are some basic facts that you have to know, so that you will not be nervous when doing the EKG test, or feel confused after reading the EKG results.
What does an EKG monitor do to your heart?
An EKG is used to record the heart’s own electrical activity instead of discharging to the heart.
The beating of the heart is directed by its own electrical signals. The electrocardiogram machine can record these signals and show them through curves.
If there is a problem with the heart, the electrical signal of the heart will be abnormal, and the EKG curve will be different. Through the EKG graph, doctors can see if there is a problem with the patient’s heart.
EKG tests do not cause damage to the heart. It’s just a recording device, so you don’t have to be nervous when you’re doing an EKG.
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Is it necessary to make EKG a part of a routine physical exam?
- Persons over 60 years of age;
- People with risk factors of cardiovascular disease such as hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia;
- Regular smokers.
What does the word “sinus rhythm” of an EKG report mean?
Some Friends Have This Kind Of Experience: The Heart Is Uncomfortable, But The EKG Result Is Normal. Why Is That?
Several Reasons Why Your Heart Feels Uncomfortable But Your ECG Is Fine
There may be several reasons why your heart feels uncomfortable but your ECG is fine:
1. The monitoring time is not enough
People may be only hooked up to the machine for a very brief amount of time, so heart rhythm irregularities are not shown in the EKG waveform. Thus the doctor will suggest the patient to continuously monitor their hearts for over 24 hours.
2. It’s not a heart problem
“Heart is not comfortable” is a very subjective feeling. Having this feeling does not necessarily mean heart problems. It may be temporary emotional distress or stomach disease. The stomach and heart are close together, so it’s easy to get confused. Sometimes the doctor will also ask patients with stomachache to do an electrocardiogram.
3. It’s too mild
When the heart abnormality is so mild that it is not recognized by an EKG, other tests may be needed.
4. It’s too severe
Sometimes heart disease is so serious that the electrocardiogram judgment is “false negatives” (where the test fails to identify a real problem), which is related to the principle of the electrocardiogram. Doctors will make a comprehensive judgment based on the patient’s physical condition, and the results of the ultrasound, chest X-ray and other heart examinations.
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