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Electrocardiogram Walk in service

ECG (electrocardiogram)

ECG (EKG, electrocardiogram, or electrocardiograph) is a simple painless test which measures the rhythm and electrical activity of your heart.

During an ECG small sticky pads are placed on your body connected to wires that link up to the ECG machine. The machine reads and records, on paper, the electrical signals from your heart. 


Why is it done?

  • An ECG records the rhythm of your heart and can detect abnormal patterns which can help diagnose various heart conditions.
  • It can help tell if you are having a heart attack or if you have had one in the past. It can also detect irregularities in your heart rhythm. It can sometimes detect if your heart is enlarged or if there is any strain on your heart pumping.
  • An ECG is often the first heart test you will have, however it is just a snapshot so you may need other tests too.


How is it done?

Small sticky pads called electrodes are placed on your arms, legs and chest. These are connected to wires that link up to the ECG machine. Your heart’s electrical activity is picked up by the electrodes and the machine prints out the pattern. You will need to lie still because movement can affect the recording.


Results and Other Tests

An ECG on its own may not be enough to diagnose your heart condition but it will show if your heart is beating too fast, too slow or with an abnormal rhythm. Sometimes your ECG can be normal but you may need more tests to definitely rule out a heart problem.

An ECG can also provide clues to how your heart is pumping and if it is enlarged. An ECG done while you are having symptoms can often be more informative.

If your doctor finds irregularities on your ECG suggestive of a heart problem, additional tests may be ordered such as an echocardiogram, Holter monitor, coronary angiogram.