There are over 100 million EKG procedures in the United States every year. It is one of the most common cardiovascular tests.
This means if you've got some kind of problem or a suspected problem with your heart, one of the first tests you'll undergo is the EKG. The full term is an electrocardiogram, often shortened to EKG or ECG.
But how does an EKG work? Keep reading to learn more.
How Does an ECG(EKG) Work?
An EKG is a graphic representation of the electrical activity in your heart.
Electrodes are attached to your chest via non-permanent adhesive pads. These electrodes are then connected to the EKG machine, which presents the data as a graph.
But what does an EKG measure?
The electrodes measure the electrical activity of the heart. This, when presented graphically, indicates the cycles and rhythms the heart is going through. The EKG records a few seconds of activity while the person is at rest.
This electrical activity is recorded as waves or line graphs. There are three standard waves that cardiologists will look for. These include the "P wave", the "QRS complex", and the "T wave", which represent the heartbeat moving through different areas of the heart.
Doctors look at this graphical information and can determine if the beats and rhythms of your heart are unusual or not. This will inform their decision for treatment or more tests.
Also Read : How to Treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
What Is an EKG Machine?
The EKG machine is made up of a few parts.
The electrodes are attached to the EKG machine using wires. There is also an EKG monitor that represents the information graphically. This information is usually printed out so that doctors can refer to it at a later stage.
Click here for more information about ECG machines.
Symptoms for an EKG
There are a lot of reasons doctors might recommend an EKG. Sometimes it's just to get a sense of your heart health. But other times it's because you've got certain conditions or symptoms that prompt a check on your heart.
Symptoms that almost always get an EKG are any kind of chest pain. Shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat are also worth investigating.
Conditions, where someone's heart health might be at risk, will also undergo EKGs more frequently. Things like a history of heart problems, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, or being above 65 years of age are all risk factors worth getting an EKG.
Also Read : How to prevent heart disease at any age?
Benefits of EKGs
EKG machines are incredibly helpful tools. Doctors are able to quickly diagnose problems because of them. They're often used when patients are experiencing chest pain, heavy heartbeats, or shortness of breath.
Whether it's in a home setting or at a medical office of some kind, now you'll be able to answer the question "how does an EKG work?"
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