National Heart Month – ECGs
As you may be aware, February is National Heart Month and we’ll be doing a blog piece every week looking at all matters of the heart. This week we’ll be looking at a prominent part of heart care in hospitals – the ECG machine.
What is an ECG Machine?
Electrocardiogram or ECG measures the electrical activity of your heart, to make sure it’s performing properly. ECGs are used by doctors to check the rhythm of your heart and make sure it’s not too fast or too slow, so as to gauge whether you’re getting enough blood pumped around your body.
ECGs activity is measured using wires which are connected to small sticky pads attached to your arms, legs and chest, and relay your heart-beat back to the machine. ECG measurements can be displayed either as a moving line on a piece of paper, or on a machine, commonly used in hospitals. They’re extremely important in healthcare settings, ensuring doctors are alerted as soon as there’s an abnormality in a patient’s heart-beat, whether it’s in surgery or just utilised for general monitoring purposes.
An ECG can be used to test for heart attacks, or to see if you’ve had a heart attack in the past, and can also indicate if your heart has swollen or thickened. You can have this test in different forms, such as while running or over a 24-hour period, depending on what your doctor is looking to investigate.
For more information on heart diseases and how you can beat them, please visit the British Heart Foundation’s web page.
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