For Your Heart

Your heart’s electrical system controls all the events that occur when your heart pumps blood. When your weight is in a healthy range, your heart more effectively circulates blood and your fluid levels are more easily managed.

Electrocardiography (EKG or ECG) is an interpretation of the electrical activity of the heart over time captured and externally recorded by skin electrodes. The ECG works by detecting and amplifying the tiny electrical changes on the skin that are caused when the heart beats. It is a simple process where wires are attached to parts of the body which are connected to a sophisticated analyzer that can tract the electrical activity of the heart. This gives the medical staff an opportunity to review basic heart activity and check for some abnormalities.

How is an ECG (EKG) performed?

EKG leads are attached to the body while the patient lies flat on a bed or table. Leads are attached to each extremity (four total) and to six pre-defined positions on the front of the chest. The leads are attached by small adhesive patches attached loosely to the skin. The test takes about five minutes and is painless. In some instances, men may require the shaving of a small amount of chest hair to obtain optimal contact between the leads and the skin.

What is measured or can be detected on the ECG (EKG)?

The underlying rate and rhythm mechanism of the heart.The orientation of the heart (how it is placed) in the chest cavity.Evidence of increased thickness (hypertrophy) of the heart muscle.Evidence of damage to the various parts of the heart muscle.Evidence of acutely impaired blood flow to the heart muscle.Patterns of abnormal electric activity that may predispose the patient to abnormal cardiac rhythm disturbances.