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Electrocardiogram, EKG – Understanding Your Heart

An Electrocardiogram, or EKG, is a test that measures your heart’s electrical activity, which helps your physician determine your heart’s health. The EKG can assess heart disease and damage to the heart. It is usually a routine test in persons over forty years old. An EKG is performed by a specially trained technician. The test is interpreted by an expert physician, and the results are reported to your regular physician.

There is no special preparation to get ready for an EKG. It is a painless test that involves no risks and only takes about ten minutes to perform. The technician will ask you to remove your clothing from the waist up and lie down on your back on a table. Foil tab electrodes are placed on each wrist and ankle, and also at six points on your chest.

The EKG records electrical signals from your heart onto a paper strip. The pattern of these signals tell the physician whether your heart is normal, under stress, experiencing electrical problems, strain, or damage. Following a few minutes of recording these electrical signals, the electrodes will be removed by the technician. An EKG can be done at the physician’s office.

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