The heart has specialized tissue which is capable of generating electrical impulses which tell the heart muscles to contract, which then propels blood out of the heart. An EKG measures this electrical activity and lets the doctors determine if it is normal.
- First 10 stickers are placed on different parts of your body
- Then wires are connected to each sticker (It may look a little scary but nothing hurts, we promise)
- Then you must lie very still for about 10 seconds while the machine prints out the report
- That’s it! The wires and stickers are removed and you are done!
While the EKG gives us a very good idea about how well the heart is conducting, it is not that good at telling us how everything is formed and how strong the muscle is. For that we often use a special type of ultrasound called an echocardiogram.
Another limitation of an EKG is that it only shows us a few seconds of your heart beating. Sometimes this is not enough information and so you may be given a monitor to take home for a short while.