A holter monitor is a 5-rupee coin sized battery operated device that records activity of the heart continuously for 24 to 48 hours, depedning on the type of monitoring used.
A holter monitor is a 5-rupee coin sized battery operated device that records activity of the heart continuously for 24 to 48 hours, depedning on the type of monitoring used. Holter monitoring is recommended by a cardiologist after traditional electrocardiogram (ECG) if the tests did not provided sufficient information about the heart activity.
Holter monitoring is used to determine the irregularities in the heart, during normal day to day activities. It helps in diagnosis of a particular type of heart condition, i.e how the heart responds to normal activity. Commonly, this procecdure is used to achieve the following:
It is also used as a diagnosis tool for many heart ailments like Atrial Fibrillation, Multifocal atrial tachycardia, palpitations, Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia and Ventricular tachycardia.It may also be used to understand the reasons for fainting and slow heart rate in some patients
Under the guidance of an experienced cardiologist, a technician places the electrodes in the required places. The electrode is then connected to a recording device, which is worn by the patient as per directions of the doctor. The device runs on batteries and is placed in a pouch worn around the patient's neck or waist. The monitoring is painless and the wires can be hidden under clothes.
Also, the patient has to keep a diary of all the activities performed during the Holter Monitoring. Any kind of abnormal symptoms like shortness of breath, skipped heartbeats, palpitations etc felt by the patient must be recorded in the diary. After the installation, the patient can go back to performing normal day to day activities and recording any changes in the diary immediately for the doctor's reference.
The monitor should be worn at all times, even when the patient is asleep.
After the end of the monitoring period, the patient is required to go back to the cardiologist to return the Holter Monitor. The technician will remove the device from the patient’s body. The doctor will ask for the diary maintained by the patient. Next, the doctor will compare the data in the diary with the readings from the Holter Monitor. After this the doctor will diagnose the condition of the patient, based on the study conducted. The doctor based on the outcome may order further tests.
The wearing of a Holter Monitor is a simple procedure and doesn't involve any major risks.
The patient should keep following things should be kept in mind while wearing a holter monitor:
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