Mobile EKG

Alpha One Imaging provides mobile EKGs onsite in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and most of southern Louisiana.

An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart. An EKG translates the heart's electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves.

The heart is a muscular pump made up of four chambers. The two upper chambers are called atria, and the two lower chambers are called ventricles. A natural electrical system causes the heart muscle to contract and pump blood through the heart to the lungs and the rest of the body.

Why It Is Done

Patient receiving EKG

An EKG is done to:

  • Check the heart's electrical activity.
  • Find the cause of unexplained chest pain, which could be caused by a heart attack, inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis), or angina.
  • Find the cause of symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or rapid, irregular heartbeats (palpitations).
  • Find out if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick (hypertrophied).
  • Check how well medicines are working and whether they are causing side effects that affect the heart.
  • Check how well mechanical devices that are implanted in the heart, such as pacemakers, are working to control a normal heartbeat.
  • Check the health of the heart when other diseases or conditions are present, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes, or a family history of early heart disease.

Risks

There is not a chance of problems while having an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). A portable EKG is a completely safe test and usually takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

The electrodes are used to transfer an image of the electrical activity of the heart to tracing on paper. No electricity passes through the body from the machine, and there is no danger of getting an electrical shock.

Who Needs an Electrocardiogram?

medical image

You may recommend an electrocardiogram (EKG) if your patient has signs or symptoms such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart pounding, racing, or fluttering
  • Breathing problems
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Unusual heart sounds

An EKG also may be done as part of a routine health exam. The test can screen for early heart disease that has no symptoms. It is more common to look for early heart disease if the mother, father, brother, or sister had heart disease–especially early in life.

It may also be performed to check how well heart medicine or a medical device, such as a pacemaker, is working. The test also may be used for routine screening before major surgery.

EKG results can also help to plan treatment for a heart condition.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ekg
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