7 Day Event Monitor
Why do I need a 7 day ECG?
Sometimes you may experience palpitations (strong heart beats), dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath or other symptoms. A 7 day ECG can help with the diagnosis of many conditions affecting the heart and lungs. Some symptoms may not take place during a routine heart examination, so your doctor has asked for you to be monitored over a week-long period.
The 7 day ECG monitor will record electrical signals from your heart over a full week. This ECG analysis will monitor your heart rhythm during everyday life to see how your heart reacts to activity, rest and/or medication changes. You do not need to stay in hospital during the test.
What is a 7 day ECG?
The ECG monitor is a small and lightweight computerised device for professional ECG analysis. It is used to continuously detect and record your heart rhythm over a 7 day period. This involves placing several small and sticky electrode patches onto your chest. The patches are connected with a wire to a portable recording machine which will pick up and record electrical signals produced by every heartbeat. You will not feel anything and there will be no pain or discomfort during the ECG.
Preparing for 7 day ECG monitoring
- Please inform Express Diagnostics if you are allergic to Elastoplast.
- We recommend that you wear a two-piece outfit with a loose top, as you will need to remove your top (women may keep their bra on). We also recommend not wearing tights because an electrode will be placed onto the ankles.
- Please do not use cream or talcum powder on your chest area shortly before or during the Holter ECG monitoring – this may make it more difficult to stick the electrodes to your chest.
Setting up a 7 day ECG test
- When you arrive to be fitted with a portable ECG monitor, you will be asked to strip to your waist (women may keep their bra on).
- A Health Care Assistant will put some small sticky patches called electrodes on to your chest to detect your heart’s electrical signals. Some men may need small areas of their chest shaved to help the electrodes stick properly.
- The electrodes will then be connected with wires to a small recording box (also called a ‘Holter monitor’).
- You will then be ready to wear the monitor, go home and carry on with your normal everyday activities.
Tips for a successful 7 day ECG analysis
- During the day you can attach the Event monitor on to your trousers of skirt via a clip on the rear of the device.
- Try to have as normal a week as possible. Whatever you would normally do can be continued.
- Be careful not to get the Event Monitor wet. You will not be able to bathe or shower whilst you are wearing the monitor. You will receive instruction on how to remove and reattach the monitor when required.
- In bed at night several people find that placing the Holter monitor under their pillow is more comfortable than having it attached to their night clothes.
- Make sure the wires are clipped to the electrodes on your chest. If a wire comes away, please reattach it via the small press stud on the electrode.
I’ve forgotten how to re-attach the electrodes!
When your 7 day ECG is first set up, you will be shown where to put the electrodes and how to connect them to the ECG monitor. This will enable you to remove the monitor once a day for a shower or bath.
Here’s a quick recap in case you forget:
- When you step out of the bath or shower, dry the skin on your chest well.
- Rub the area where the electrodes will be placed with a towel so that the skin in that area looks slightly pink.
- Do not put any moisturiser, lotions or talc on to the chest.
- Place new clean electrodes to the chest (for a diagram, download our leaflet from the right hand column of this page).
- Connect the coloured leads to the relevant electrode.
Yellow – The middle of your chest over the breast bone
Green – The right of your chest over the lower ribs
Red – The left of your chest over the lower ribs
- The event monitor can now be attached to your trousers or skirt as usual.
Keeping an ECG event diary
You will be given an event diary to help with the analysis and to make a more accurate evaluation of your 7 day recording. Please record any symptoms you have during the test, along with their time, duration and circumstance.
Please keep your Holter monitor diary and a pen with you at all times.
Returning the ECG equipment
Having worn the monitor for 7 days, a follow up appointment will be made for you at Express Diagnostics for the monitor to be removed; please can you also bring your completed patient diary to this appointment.
Your 7 day ECG results
The results from your 7 day ECG test will be sent to your doctor who will call you in for a further appointment if necessary.