What Is An EKG And Its Risk Factors?

An electrocardiogram is used to record specific electrical signals in the area of your heart. It is a painful and standard test used for the detection of heart problems. Doctors use this procedure to monitor the health of your heart. An electrocardiogram is also known as EKGs or ECGs.

Doctors do such procedures in their office, a hospital room, or a clinic. ECG machines are specific standard equipment that is operating in the ambulances and operating rooms. Some personal devices can also monitor ECGs like smartwatches.

Purpose Of EKG

An electrocardiogram is non-invasive and painless that helps to diagnose different heart problems. Doctors use EKGs for people of all ages to detect heart issues. Doctor use electrocardiogram to detect:

  • The abnormal rhythm of the heart
  • Frequency of working of treatment for a patient
  • To diagnose if you previously had a heart attack
  • If narrow arteries in the heart are inducing chest pain

Your doctor may recommend ECG in case of the following symptoms.

  • Heart palpitations
  • Breath shortness
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Rapid pulse
  • Fatigue

The American Heart Association advises not to use electrocardiograms to assess heart issues in adults who do not have many symptoms and risks of the disease. But if you have a family history of certain conditions, the doctor may advise you to have an electrocardiogram screening test.

Doctors will recommend this test even if you don’t have any symptoms because of having a family history of heart issues. If your symptoms are not persistent and come and go often, it is difficult to examine such symptoms during a standard recording of ECG.

In this case, the doctor will recommend you be monitored continuously through ECG monitoring. There are different types of tests.

Holter Monitor

It is wearable and small device that records continuous ECG for one to two days.

Event Monitor

It is a portable device that looks the same as a Holter monitor. It records your heart condition for certain times. You can also wear this device like a Holter monitor for almost 30 days. When you start feeling symptoms, you are advised to push the button.

Some devices monitor the abnormal rhythm of your heart automatically. Follow all the given instructions while using these devices.


Do not worry about getting a shock during an electrocardiogram procedure because this test is completely safe. The electrodes that are used in this procedure do not produce wonders of electricity. These electrodes are used only to record electrical activity.

You may feel minor discomfort like removing a bandage when doctors remove electrodes. Some people may feel a rash in the area where doctors place the patches. There are no specific preparations recommended for a standard electrocardiogram.

Give the details of supplements and medications you take to your doctor. The reason is these medications can affect your test results. A technician or nurse often does this procedure in the hospital or doctor’s office.


The doctor may tell you the results of the procedure on the same day. You may not need to have further tests if the reports of your electrocardiogram are regular. Doctors may recommend another ECG if your test report is not standard and shows slight heart issues.

Your doctor can also recommend further diagnosis using different tests. Treatment is associated with the symptoms of the procedure. Doctors review the complete information thoroughly provided by the machine record. They look for the following issues.

Heart Rate

Usually, doctors check your pulse to examine your heart rate. If your pulse is brutal to feel and is too fast or irregular, the doctor will recommend ECG. It helps your doctor to examine fast and unusual heart rates or a slower heart rate.

Heart Rhythm

ECG helps to manifest irregularities of heart rhythms. These conditions develop due to the malfunctions of any part of the heart. In other cases, certain medications can trigger arrhythmias. 

Examples of these medications are cocaine, over-the-counter colds, beta-blockers, and allergy drugs. Tell your doctor if you are using such medications.

Heart Attack

ECG monitors the evidence of previous heart attacks. It is used to diagnose the damage of some regions of the heart. Moreover, it helps doctors to know the extent of a heart attack.

Monitor your heart rate if you are facing heart problems. Tell your doctor immediately if you are experiencing severe heart problems like persistent pain and irregular pulse rate.

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