This uses equipment that records the heart rhythm over a period of time.
Depending on the suspected heart rhythm abnormality, heart rhythm monitoring can be undertaken as a continuous or intermittent recording. The period of monitoring usually lasts from 24 hours to 2 weeks.
The equipment that we use is small and comfortable. The monitors consist of adhesive patches applied directly to the skin of the upper body. There are no loose wires that can get tangled with clothes. Some of the devices can be removed temporarily to allow bathing or showering.
Once we have attached the deice our patients go home and continues with the normal daily activities whilst the monitor records a continuous ECG. During the recording period the patient has the possibility of pushing a button on the device that will mark the time on the recording when the button was activated. This is done to make note of the time that any particular symptoms were experienced. Additionally a description of the symptoms can be written in a diary.
At the end of the recording period, the device can be returned by local postage. This convenience reduces travel time for our patients. We will show you how to remove the device and repackage it in the supplied packaging that is already addressed and stamped.
The ECG recording is analysed and correlated with the diary and button presses. At this point a diagnosis can be made.
Intermittent heart rhythm monitors, sometimes called event recorders, are not attached continuously to the skin. Instead, the individual carries the small monitoring device in their pocket or bag. When the patient feels their symptoms, the monitor is held steadily in their hands or against the skin for up to 5 minutes while the monitor records the heart rhythm. With these types of monitors, only the period of time chosen by the patient is recorded. There is a growing number of these devices available on-line for purchase by individuals. We can advise you about this should you want to purchase these devices.
The type and duration of heart rhythm monitoring will be discussed with you during a consultation and the best option will be chosen to allow your symptoms to be correlated with the heart rhythm at that time.