It is one of the most alarming health symptoms you will ever feel. Your heart jumps or suddenly stalls momentarily. If you experience an irregular heartbeat, you are not alone. Millions of Americans experience what we like to call hiccups of the heart, without ever having to undergo invasive surgeries to correct the problem. Why are we able to live normal lives walking around with occasional heart hiccups?
The answer lies in the Holter and event monitoring of the heart.
OVERVIEW OF CARDIAC EVENT RECORDERS
At cardiovascular treatment clinics, an irregular heartbeat is often referred to as an arrhythmia. Dr. Chadda and his experienced team of cardiovascular treatment professionals attach a cardiac monitor to stay on top of your heart’s performance. Holter and event monitors represent small electronic devices that analyze and record the electrical energy traveling through the heart. You attach electrodes to the upper chest area near the heart to perform either Holter or event monitoring.
Our team of nurses and technicians use a Holter monitor for patients who suffer from frequent arrhythmia symptoms. An event monitor works best for our patients who experience sporadic irregular heartbeats or do not feel an irregular beat pattern at all. Holter monitoring typically lasts between 24 and 48 hours, while event monitoring can span more than 30 days.
WHY DO OUR PATIENTS NEED A HOLTER OR EVENT MONITOR?
Some of our patients ask why they need to walk around with a cardiac response monitor attached to their chests, when they can visit our clinic for an electrocardiogram test. The answer is arrhythmia is not a predictable event, which means you need to connect a heart monitor to capture readings at any time. Patients who experience frequent irregular heartbeats especially need to wear a Holter monitor to prevent arrhythmia from becoming a life threatening heart attack. Moreover, wearing a cardiac response monitor tells us if your heart medicines and cardioverter defibrillator are working effectively.
ATTACHING A HOLTER OR EVENT MONITOR
Since most of our patients will attach a heart monitor outside of our clinic, we offer some suggestions on how to ensure the system accurately records heart rates. Cardiac response monitors connect to the chest via small electrodes. Wires running from the electrodes connect to the very small monitoring and recording device. The skin on your chest should be clear of oils and creams. We recommend cleaning the skin with square gauze that contains rubbing alcohol. If you need help attaching the electrodes to the chest and/or monitoring and recording device, call one of our certified technicians for assistance. Dr. Chadda also uses cardiac response monitors that you can hold in your hand or wear on one of your wrists.
The team of cardiovascular specialists at our clinic will instruct you on how to send your Holter or event monitoring data by phone. We typically teach our patients to place a phone over the mouthpiece located at the front of the heart monitor. The advantage of using a phone to send cardiac response monitoring data is we can immediately reach you via telephone. The cardio monitoring devices cause no side effects, except maybe a little skin irritation on the chest where you attach the electrodes.
To learn more about wearing a Holter or event monitor, contact our clinic to discuss the medical procedure with one of our cardiovascular treatment professionals.