A simple, painless test that measures your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity.
An ECG is often used alongside other tests to help diagnose and monitor conditions affecting the heart such as:
- Arrhythmias – where the heart beats too slowly, too quickly, or irregularly
- Coronary Heart Disease – where the heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances
- Heart Attacks – where the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked
- Cardiomyopathy – where the heart walls become thickened or enlarged
It can be used to investigate symptoms of a possible heart problem, such as chest pain, palpitations, dizziness and shortness of breath.
How is it done?
A nurse will attach 12 to 15 soft electrodes with a gel to your chest, arms, and legs. These electrodes are attached to electrical leads (wires), which are then attached to the ECG machine.
During the test, you will need to lie still on a bed while the machine records your heart’s electrical activity and places the information on a graph. After the procedure, the electrodes are removed and discarded.
The entire procedure takes about 10 minutes.