What Does an EKG Test Do?

Have you or a family member been told that it’s time for an EKG test and you now want to acquire more information about this life-saving test? If so, you’re not alone. Countless patients wonder what happens during an EKG test and what it’s primarily used for. Keep reading so you’ll get the answers to your questions.

What the Acronym of EKG Stands For

An EKG test is a medical diagnostic test that is used to check the health of your heart. The acronym EKG stands for the word electrocardiogram. You’ll hear this test referred to in both its abbreviated form and its lengthier description – although it may sometimes be referred to as an ECG. In any event, the test is used to test general heart status and also to detect heart abnormalities like heart rhythm abnormalities.

What the Medical Professionals Are Looking For

After your EKG, medical staff will use the information to assess:

  • Whether your symptoms – such as shortness of breath — are originating from the heart or elsewhere
  • Whether you have an adequate amount of blood that flows through your heart
  • Whether heart medications that you are currently taking are working efficiently
  • Whether your heart valves and other anatomical parts of the organ are working correctly

What an EKG Tests For: Heart Rhythm Monitoring

As mentioned earlier, an EKG check is one way to track your heart’s health by monitoring its rhythm – otherwise known as its electrical activity. This test is designed to track and record the electric impulses of the heart muscle which in turn tracks the heart rate and rhythm of this vital organ by producing an image that can be assessed by a medical professional to determine if the activity is normal or if further testing is needed.

How the Test Is Typically Administered

Although advances in medical testing are being made every day which could in fact change the landscape of EKG testing, the process as it stands today consists of patients performing some form of mild to moderate physical activity – like walking on a treadmill or peddling a stationary bike – after electrodes have been attached to up to 10 small areas of your body to chart your heart’s electrical activity during the physical exertion. There’s no need to worry about over-exertion since medical staff are present and this portion of testing typically lasts no more than a few minutes.

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