Express Cardiac Care
The tool to see electrical activity of the heart...
What is ECG ?

An electrocardiogram (ECG / EKG) is recording of the electrical activity of the heart and is used to diagnose abnormal rhythm and insult to the heart due to lack of blood supply. ECG is the best non invasive, safe, painless and quick tool to identify abnormal rhythm and damaged heart muscle.

12 leads ECG graph is recorded on the paper or can be seen live on a screen. Doctor can read and interpret the ECG and can guide for further line of management.

Normal ECG can’t absolutely rule out abnormalities of heart.

Why Is It Done?
Find the cause of unexplained chest pain which could be due to cardiac reason (heart attack, ischemia, inflammation of the heart muscle or sac surrounding the heart (Pericarditis)) or non cardiac reason.
Find the cause of shortness of breath, dizziness & fainting.
Find the cause of palpitations.
Find the toxicity of certain medicines like Digoxin / chemotherapy.
Diagnose the electrolyte imbalance.
Check the health of the heart when other diseases or conditions are present, such as high blood pressure / high cholesterol / smoking / diabetes.
Screening of the heart in v/o family history of certain heart disease.
Screening of the heart prior to surgery / as a part of complete body check up.
Diagnose suspected congenital Heart Disease.
What information can be gained from the ECG?

From the ECG tracing, the following information can be determined:

Heart rate
Rhythm of the heart
Conduction abnormalities of the heart (abnormalities of spreading of electrical impulse across the heart)
Lack of blood supply to the heart muscle (To diagnose possibility of Coronary Artery Disease)
To diagnose Acute Myocardial Infarction (Heart attack)
To diagnose old Heart attack
To diagnose thickened heart muscle / Enlarged Heart chambers
To diagnose effect of Hypertension or abnormal Lipid profile on the heart
Who will carry out my electrocardiogram?

Electrocardiogram is usually carried out by trained Technician in lying down position at comfortable place. It is usually done in the hospital or at clinic of GP. It is interpreted by a qualified trained doctor.

Is there anything I need to do before an ECG (electrocardiogram)?

If you are having a resting ECG, there is no need to do anything different before having the test. You can avoid eating a meal or drinking a caffeinated drink for two hours before the test as these can affect your heart’s rhythm (not absolute). If you are wearing any metal things in hands or wearing woollen clothes, remove it prior to this test. If Pt is having too much hair on the chest and causing noise in recording, you might have to shave the chest.

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How is the ECG performed?

You will lie on an examination table and 10 electrodes (or leads) are attached to your arms, legs, and chest. The electrodes detect the electrical impulses generated by the heart and transmit them to the ECG machine. The ECG machine produces a 12 leads graph (the ECG tracing) of those cardiac electrical impulses. The electrodes are then removed. The test takes less than 5 minutes to perform.

There are three main types of ecg:

Resting ECG – if your doctor is interests in how your heart is working while you are at rest, you will be asked to lie down and relax while the heartbeat is being recorded.
Exercise ECG – your doctor may be interested in how your heart reacts to activity and you will be asked to walk or run on a treadmill or cycle on an exercise bike while your heartbeat is recorded.
24-hour ECG – sometimes it can be helpful to monitor your heartbeat throughout the day, in which case you will be asked to wear a small electrocardiograph machine. The recordings from the machine are then read by your doctor when you return the machine.