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Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

What is an Electrocardiogram (ECG)?

An Electrocardiogram (ECG) records the rhythm and electrical activity of the heart.

How do I prepare for the test?

There is no special preparation required. However, wearing clothing that gives easy access to the chest is helpful. You should come as you are and eat or drink as you normally do. If you take medications, you should continue to take them as normal unless your doctor specifies otherwise.

How much time the test will take?

The test takes about 10 minutes but expect to be at London Heart Centre for 30 minutes.

What happens during the test?

  • You will be escorted into an ECG room by a Cardiac Physiologist (technician).

  • You will be asked to remove all clothing covering your chest. Females will be given a gown to wear during the test.

  • You will lie down quietly on a bed. The Cardiac Physiologist will place 6 small adhesive electrode pads across your chest from your lower breast bone (sternum) to an area below your left armpit. Other pads will be placed on each of your arms and legs. It may be necessary to shave some chest hair from men to obtain better adhesion. Insulated wires will connect each of these 10 pads to the ECG machine. Once these wires, called "leads," are attached, the ECG records a few heartbeats on a single sheet of graph paper. You will not feel any thing while ECG is being recorded.

What are the risks from the test?

There are no risks from the test.

What happens after the test?

The ECG recording will be submitted to our Cardiologist who is a specially-trained physician in reading these recordings. He or she will interpret the recording and will then provide your physician with a written report. The Cardiac physiologist will not provide you with any results at the time of the test.

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