If you have experienced symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, chest pain or shortness of breath and a routine resting 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) examination or ECG Holter monitor has not identified a problem, your doctor may ask you to undergo an ECG event recorder monitor test (R test) if your symptoms do not appear often.
What is an ECG event recorder monitor?
The ‘R test’ observes your heart rhythm and rate. The monitor is usually kept for two weeks.
The monitor is about the size of a match box and you will wear it for the majority (if not all) of the time you have it.
You do not need to stay in hospital and you can continue with your normal daily activities during the test.
Although the device will automatically detect abnormal heart rhythms, you have the option to ‘activate’ an ECG recording if you have any heart symptoms.
When you return the monitor, a cardiac physiologist will analyse the recordings and produce a report for your doctor. The test will provide your doctor with much more information about your heart rhythm, which they can base any decisions about your health on.
How is the monitor fitted?
The monitor is attached by two electrodes (small sticky patches connected to leads). One is placed in the centre of your chest and the other on the left-hand side.
Small wires from the monitor are attached to these electrodes. You will wear the monitor around your neck with a soft support necklace. It takes approximately 10 minutes to fit.
The test is completely painless and it is important you wear the monitor throughout the day and night and maintain your normal daily activities.
It is also important you do not get the monitor wet so please do not have a bath or shower while wearing it. We will give you extra electrodes so that you can replace them after a bath or shower.
You will be asked to return the monitor to the non-invasive cardiology department. We can give you a pre-paid first-class envelope to return the monitor so please ask at the fitting if this is what you would prefer.
Please make sure you follow the department’s instructions about returning your monitor promptly as other patients may have their ECG Holter monitoring test cancelled if you do not return the monitor on time.
The non-invasive cardiology team aims to produce an ECG report within seven days of the monitor being returned. All results are uploaded to the electronic patient record system so that your doctor can look at the results immediately.
If you are booked to come in for an ECG test at Harefield Hospital and have any questions or would like further information please contact the cardiac physiologists directly on 01895 828 566.
If you have an appointment to have an ECG event recorder monitor fitted at Royal Brompton Hospital and you have any questions or are unable to attend, please telephone the non-invasive cardiology department 020 7351 8641, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.