What is an ECG?
An electrocardiogram (or ECG) is a "snapshot" view of the electrical activity of the heart from 12 different angles.
Why perform the Test?
The electrocardiogram records a patient’s heart pattern. The 12 leads of the ECG as well as the rhythm of the beats over the 10 seconds of the recording (hence the “snapshot”), gives the doctor valuable information about the heart.
Preparation for an ECG Test
On the day of the test we recommend the following
- There is no specific dietary preparation for the test
- Please do not use body lotion on your chest - this may interfere with the adhesive electrodes.
- ECG patterns and some of the body’s responses to exercise can be affected by various medications, so please bring a complete list of your medications to your appointment.
- You will be asked permission to perform the test.
What to Wear for the ECG
When you enter the test room patients are required to:
- Undress to the waist so wear a two-piece outfit
- Women will be able to leave their bra on and are given a gown to wear.
What happens during an ECG Test?
Patients are prepared for the test by having:
- Electrode sites on the chest are cleansed with alcohol wipes
- Some men require a small amount of shaving to ensure good electrical contact between the electrode and skin
- Ten sticky electrodes are placed on various parts of your body
- The electrodes are connected to leads
- The leads provide the signals for the ECG to record
ECG Test Duration
The test usually takes 20 minutes