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3 Reasons Why Your Doctor Ordered an EKG

May 14, 2024
3 Reasons Why Your Doctor Ordered an EKG
Electrocardiograms (EKGs) are a procedure that can provide a lot of vital information about your heart. Find out why you may need one here.

An electrocardiogram — otherwise known as an EKG or ECG — is a noninvasive and completely pain-free procedure that examines your heart’s electrical activity. 

Your heart needs a power source to pump blood to the rest of your body, and a small node in the upper right portion of your heart provides that electrical source (sinus node). The EKG tracks that electrical stimulus that’s pumping your heart. Under normal circumstances, the node should generate about 60-100 times per minute, with each pulse representing a heartbeat.

If there’s anything wrong with your heart, the electrical signals that control your heart can no longer function like they should, and an EKG can pick up on that. There’s a large variety of heart issues that an EKG can detect, making it a vital medical tool. 

At HealthStone Primary Care Partners in Hollywood, Florida, our primary care team utilizes EKGs to examine the health of your heart and circulatory system. This month’s blog explores more on EKGs, including why you might need one. 

Explaining EKGs

An EKG both monitors and records your heart’s electrical activity through electrode patches that are placed on your chest, arms, and legs. The computer connected to the patches reads your heart’s rate and rhythm, structure, and efficiency. 

With each heartbeat, the EKG produces what’s called a tracing, which is a series of squiggly lines. If the pattern of lines isn’t consistent throughout the test or doesn’t fall within typical boundaries, it could indicate a heart issue. 

An EKG can detect irregular heart rhythms and diagnose heart attacks. 

Reasons for needing an EKG

The main reasons we may order an EKG include the following:

  1. You’re at risk for heart disease
  2. You have symptoms of a heart condition, such as chest pain or heart palpitations
  3. You’re having symptoms of a heart attack or previously had a heart attack

The EKG uses the electrical activity reading of your heart to detect any or all of these heart-related issues. 

What to expect when you get an EKG

On the day of your EKG, avoid wearing oily lotions or creams on your skin, since this can keep the electrodes from sticking properly. 

Once you arrive for the procedure, we have you change into a hospital gown before lying back on the examining table. We then place 12 electrodes around your chest and limbs. The electrodes are hooked up to a monitor that displays your heart’s activity. You’ll want to remain still for the entirety of the procedure, since this helps promote test accuracy. 

After the procedure is over, you can resume all normal activity. Our team discusses the test’s results with you, which will include your heart’s rate, rhythm, and structure. It can also reveal how your heart’s blood supply is and tell us if you’ve had a heart attack. 

To schedule an EKG or to learn more about our other cardiology services, call our office at 954-466-0850 or book online today.