What is an ECG?
An ECG is a simple test to check your hearts rhythm and electrical activity.
Sensors are attached to the skin and used to detect the electrical signals produced by each heartbeat.
Signals are recorded by a machine and looked at by a consultant cardiologist to see if they are unusual.
It is important to note that an electrocardiogram IS NOT the same as an echocardiogram which is an ultrasound scan used to look at the heart.
Why would I need an ECG?
An ECG would typically be used alongside other tests to help diagnose and monitor any conditions of the heart.
If there are any signs or symptoms of possible heart problems, it will also be used to detected these. These symptoms could include chest pain, palpitations, dizziness and shortness of breath.
An ECG can help detect:
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attack
What can I expect when having an ECG?
You will lie on a coach with your upper body clothing removed. Sticky pads will be attached across your chest and on your arms and legs. The machine will read the electrical signals inside your heart and send them to the cardiologist.
Risk factors with an ECG
As explained above, an ECG is a quick and painless test with no electricity being put into your body.
As the sensor pads are sticky, there may be some discomfort when these pads are removed. Some people may notice a mild rash where the sticky pads have been, but this should subside after a while.