Heart Monitors

The Holter Monitor

A Holter monitor is a continuous 24 hour heart monitor. It records your heart’s rhythm onto a cassette while you are doing everything you would normally do during the day. This assists the physician because the monitor records when you are more likely to experience symptoms during regular activities, exercise and sleep. The test is no different than a normal electrocardiogram other than you are mobile while the test is being performed.

Test Preparation

Since you will not be able to bathe or shower while you are using the Holter monitor, we recommend that you do so before you come in for your appointment. Do not apply creams, oils, or powder to your chest before the test. Be sure to wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment.

The Test

When you receive a Holter monitor, 5 electrodes are placed on your body and attached to a device that looks somewhat like a Walkman. This takes about 15 minutes.

After You Get Home

Do not touch or adjust the electrodes on the monitor or get them wet. Do not have X-rays taken while wearing the Holter monitor. Avoid using an electric blanket, heating pad or water bed. Record your daily activities and any symptoms you experience in the diary provided. You may not take a bath or shower during the test.

After the Test

At the end of the 24 hour period, you should remove the electrodes and return the unit to our office. We will write the report and you will be contacted regarding the results. It is important to return the unit the next day at the same time you received the monitor the day before so recorded information is not lost. 

The Event Monitor

The event monitor is very similar to the Holter Monitor except for the event monitor is a recorder that records your heart rhythm only when you want it to. Event monitors help your doctor diagnose problems that don’t happen often enough for an EKG. Sometimes there are situations where your heart’s rhythm disturbance or some symptoms of irregular heart rhythm occur infrequently and cannot be documented during a single 24-hour recording obtained with a Holter monitor. Due to this, an event monitor may be used for approximately one month so recordings can be taken when symptoms occur.

After You Get Home

Carry the monitor with you at all times. Be sure not to get the monitor wet, place it near a magnet it, or use an electric blanket when you are using the event monitor. If your monitor uses sticky patches (electrodes), you must make sure that they are always securely attached to your skin. You should maintain your usual activity level and keep a diary of your daily activities such as gardening, resting, eating, taking your medications or walking and the symptoms you feel while doing these activities. 

When you feel symptoms, you will record your heart’s activity with the monitor. To do this, you will either hold the monitor against the skin of your chest over your heart or press a button on the monitor. You may be instructed to send the recording of your EKG over the phone to a monitoring center. To do this, you simply hold the monitor to the mouthpiece of the phone and push a button. The staff at the monitoring center will ask you about your symptoms and review your EKG. They will also prepare a report for your doctor. If your EKG shows a dangerous rhythm, your doctor will be notified immediately.

After the Test

You will return the monitor and your activity diary to the doctor’s office when instructed to do so.

For more information, please call:

The Specialty Clinic
(360) 414-2730