Cardiac event monitoring is used to record a patient’s heart rhythm when he or she is experiencing symptoms. It is activated by the patient when he or she is experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, fainting spells or chest pain to help diagnosis what is causing the symptoms. For instance, heartbeats that are too fast or too slow may cause light-headedness or fainting. Since an irregular heart beat might not last long enough to show up on an electrocardiogram, cardiac event monitoring can help pinpoint the cause when the heartbeat irregularity occurs.
Event monitoring involves wearing a very small, portable, EKG recorder over a period of time that can vary from weeks to a month. Two small adhesive electrodes are attached to a patient’s chest and attached to a small device which can be kept in a pocket or on a belt. These electrodes may be removed for showering.
When a patient is having an event, he or she just pushes a button to record what is happening with the heart. The recorded data can be sent over the phone to your doctors for analysis.
During the time the monitor is worn, patients are encouraged to go about their usual activities, but will be asked to record the dates and times for activities such as walking, resting, and eating, when medication is taken, and when symptoms occur.
A cardiologist will review the recordings and inform the patient about the results at the next visit or sooner, if needed.