What Is Holter Monitoring?
HMS will provide the latest Holter and Event Monitors. A holter monitor is a continuous tape recording of a patient’s EKG for 24 hours. The monitor is worn during the patient’s regular daily activities, which helps the cardiologist to correlate symptoms of dizziness, palpitations (a sensation of fast or irregular heart rhythm) or black outs. A holter monitor is used to detect any abnormal heart rhythm and to evaluate the patient’s EKG during episodes of chest pain.
An event monitor is similar to a holter monitor, however, the event monitor is worn for a longer period of time (1-2 weeks). The monitor is always on, but the patient will have to push a button whenever they notice any chest pains or irregular heart beat to record and store this information.
Event monitors are similar to Holter monitors. You wear one while you do your normal daily activities. Most event monitors have wires that connect the device to sensors that are stuck to your chest using sticky patches. They record when symptoms occur. For many event monitors, you need to start the monitor when you feel symptoms. Event monitors tend to be smaller than Holter monitors because they don’t need to store as much data.
How Does It Work?
Holter monitoring is extremely safe and no different than carrying around a small tape recorder for 24 hours. Event monitoring takes anywhere from 7 days to 4 weeks. Some patients are sensitive to the electrode adhesive, but no serious allergic reactions are known
It takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to apply the monitor and less than 5 minutes to remove it. The patient will also receive directions. Many monitors are also equipped with an “event” button. Pressing the button during a symptom (dizziness, for example) will help the technician print an ECG from that precise time.
The report is provided to the physician, together with multiple EKG strips after the tape has been scanned by the technician. If the technician sees a rhythm that is life-threatening or potentially dangerous the physician is informed immediately. Otherwise, it may take a few days before you get the official results from your physician’s office. At that time, you may also receive additional recommendations based upon the results of the test. For example, a pacemaker may be recommended if a patient has blackouts and the Holter monitor shows a seriously slow heart beat during the test.
The chest is cleansed with an alcohol solution to ensure good attachment of the sticky EKG electrodes. Men with hairy chests may require small areas to be shaved. The EKG electrodes (circular white patches on the left) are applied to the chest. Thin wires are then used to connect the electrodes to a small tape recorder. The tape recorder is secured to the patient’s belt or it can be slung over the shoulder and neck with the use of a disposable pouch. The recorder is worn for 24 hours and the patient is encouraged to continue his or her daily activities. To avoid getting the setup wet and damaging the recorder, the patient will not be able to shower for the duration of the test. A diary or log is provided so that the patient can record activity (walking the dog, upset at neighbor, etc.) and symptoms (skipped heartbeats, chest discomfort, dizziness, etc.) together with the time. The Holter monitor has an internal clock which stamp the time on the EKG strips. These can be used to correlate the heart rhythm with symptoms or complaints. After 24 hours, the Holter monitor needs to be returned to the laboratory. This can be removed by the staff. However, if you live out of town or need to take a shower before leaving the house, the monitor can be disconnected from the electrodes and sent back to the laboratory, together with the completed diary.
Recommendations To Obtain Optimum Results?
Wear the monitor as directed by the physician. Your skin will need to be prepped (clean and dry) when attaching the electrodes in order to ensure clear readings. Also, this will confirm that episodes are recorded correctly.
In addition to wearing the device, most patients are asked to keep a diary of activities such as; running, when you are sleeping, symptoms, any symptoms that occur and the times that the symptoms occur. This information is used by doctors and technicians to rapidly pinpoint any problem areas in the large amount of data recorded during the monitoring period.
Who Should Come In?
If you present the following symptoms:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Chest Pain
- Syncope (faintness
- AB Block
- Vertigo (dizzy spells)
You can have an event/holter monitor anytime you present the symptoms listed above.
Also, the doctor may prescribe an event/holter monitor if you have a significant family history or personal health history of cardiac risk factors even if you are asymptomatic. It helps the cardiologist to correlate symptoms of dizziness, palpitations (a sensation of fast or irregular heart rhythm) or black outs. A holter monitor is used to detect any abnormal heart rhythm and to evaluate the patient’s EKG during episodes of chest pain and other symptoms. Sometimes arrhythmic episodes occur and we are unaware of it.
Healtheon Medical Services
If you have any questions for Healtheon Medical Services or need more information about the services we offer, please feel free to contact us using the phone numbers, e-mail addresses or the quick contact form below. We’d love to hear from you!
La Grande Place: 1350 Deer Park Avenue, North Babylon, NY 11703