A 24-hour ambulatory ECG (Electrocardiographic) monitoring (Holter) allows your physician to review your heart’s activity for 24 hours. Your physician may recommend this type of testing whenever you experience symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, skipped beats or other sensations which may occur during normal day to day activities, but not necessarily while you’re in the physician’s office.
In addition to the monitor, patients will be given a diary to monitor their symptoms that the doctor can use to correlate with irregularities within the heart. Allow 30 minutes for hook-up in our office with explanation of its use. Patients need to return to the office approximately 24 hours later to have the device removed.
You will be hooked up to a “mini” EKG system and recorder which are strapped to a belt. Allow 30 minutes for hook-up in our office with explanation of its use. You will need to return approximately 24 hours later (thus this test will not be scheduled on Fridays) to our office to be disconnected, which should take less than 15 minutes.
The day of the test
Please dress in loose, comfortable two-piece clothing. NO body lotion on your chest the day of your exam.
- The monitor itself is the size of a large portable cassette recorder. Your heartbeat is actually recorded on a cassette inside.
• EKG patches and wires will be applied to your chest, and secured with tape by the technicians or nurses in our office.
• You will wear this monitor for a 24-hour period. We want you to continue your normal daily activities.
• You will be given a diary to note if you have any symptoms. You should note the time on the Holter recording device and also push the event button in addition to noting the symptom(s) in the diary so the doctor can subsequently correlate your symptoms with any irregularity of the heart.
When you receive a Holter monitor, small, painless sticky pads (electrodes) are put on your chest. These connect to the lightweight unit, which attaches to a belt or shoulder strap. You need to keep the device on for at least 24 hours and complete a diary. While wearing the monitor follow these tips:
- Try to sleep on your back.
• Don’t take a shower. A sponge bath is OK.
• Follow your normal routine. Don’t avoid stress, work, or exercise. Obviously, you cannot swim while wearing the device.
• If an electrode falls off or the unit makes noise, call to see what you should do.
Please stay away from electric blankets, magnets, metal detectors, and high-voltage areas such as power lines. They may affect the recording.
Holter Monitor Diary Entries
A diary will be given to you when you are connected to the Holter Monitor. You will need to carry the diary with you while you are wearing the monitor.
Your diary is an important tool used by both the technical staff processing your report, and to the physician who will be interpreting the study. Your diary could correlate the symptoms you have been describing to your physician with changes in your heart’s rhythm.
In the diary:
- Write in the time of day (based on the clock on the Holter device) for each entry you make;
• Note any symptoms you feel;
• Note any significant change in your activity (such as exercising). Accurate, concise diary entries are important!
Important Things to Remember:
• Do not take a bath, shower or swim while wearing it.
• Do not take the monitor off until the time you are instructed to do so.
• Do not remove the tape or battery from inside the monitor