When heart problems are suspected and electrocardiogram (EKG) can be a very useful tool. An EKG allows medical professionals to evaluate the function of the heart and detect past and current irregularities in the function of the heart. Those who have heart disease may undergo EKGs on a regular basis to assure that their condition is not getting worse.
An EKG is a very simple procedure where electrodes are placed on several parts of the body while the patient lays face up on an examination table. As the heart contracts and relaxes, electrical impulses are sent through the electrodes and to the EKG machine. The EKG machine displays the results on a computer monitor and also records the information so that it can be printed out and evaluated at a later time. These graphs may seem confusing and complicated but to specially trained medical personnel, these graphs can provide a great deal of information. They can determine current irregularities as well past problems. An EKG is capable of detecting scar tissue from previous heart attacks. An EKG is one of the very important tools that is used in the medial industry. The EKG of heart patients are compared to readings from healthy patients. These differences can indicate irregular heart rhythms, a heart attach or heart disease. If the doctor determines the presence of one of these factors, further testing and treatments may be required.
Those who are tasked with interpreting EKGs must undergo specialized training in order to understand how to read these graphs. Although these medical professionals are trained, there are a number of different ways to interpret EKGs and many medical professionals develop their own techniques for reading EKGs. Most of the interpretation techniques, however, revolve around examining the graphs for recurring patterns that indicate an abnormality. The heart rate is another aspect of the EKG that is studied carefully. The doctor may use the heart rate to determine if the patient is in a state of duress that may not be clear from visual observations.
Normal heart function usually includes slight variations in the rhythm of the heart. Although it may sound harmful these variations are quite normal and indicative of healthy heart function. These variations are known as sinus arrhythmia and the absence of this sinus arrhythmia can be indicative of irregular heart function. The absence of this varying rhythm may be a predictor that sudden death may occur in the event of a heart attack.
Patients with heart disease may undergo EKGs on a regular basis. This is necessary for the doctor to evaluate your heart on a regular basis. Your doctor will use the result of your EKGs to recommend further treatments and medications. Since an EKG is not time consuming and is non-invasive, it can be performed repeatedly on patients. The entire EKG takes only about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. Once the procedure is completed the doctor can usually print out and evaluate the results rather quickly to advise the patient on the plan of treatment that they will recommend.
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