An electrocardiogram, or EKG, is a standard test used to monitor and record the beating of the heart. It is one of the quickest tests that can identify heart problems without invasive procedures. For as simple as the test is to perform, it can be a life-saving tool to detect serious issues with the heart. This ensures a patient experiencing heart problems gets the diagnosis and treatment they need to protect their health.
How Does an EKG Work?
The beauty of an EKG test is that it is quick and painless for the patient. These medical devices use electrodes to measure and monitor the electrical pulses in the heart. Electrodes are placed on the skin around the heart on the torso, and sometimes on the limbs, to detect the electrical pulses that occur when the heart beats. This measures the electrical pulses as they move from the top of the heart down through the bottom chambers. The EKG procedure only takes a few minutes to begin and can quickly record the rhythm of the heart.
What Can an EKG Detect?
The main purpose of an EKG is to determine the efficiency of blood pumping through the heart. By measuring the electrical pulses, an EKG can alert medical professionals of problems within the cardiovascular system. Some of the issues an EKG can show include:
- Blockages or narrowed arteries
- Irregularities in the heartbeat
- Evidence of a heart attack
- Problems in the heart’s structure
With a quick EKG, doctors can determine if any issues are currently affecting the heart. However, an EKG can only monitor issues that are currently impacting the heart function; some cardiovascular issues can come and go, making them difficult to detect on a random EKG. An EKG is often performed when a patient is experiencing symptoms of heart problems, like shortness of breath, chest pain or weakness.
One of the services we offer at Clinica Las Americas is EKG testing. Our experienced medical team can use the results of an EKG to identify possible heart problems and recommend further treatment to protect your health.