24 Hour ECG Monitoring

What is a 24-Hour ECG Monitor?

An ECG (electrocardiogram) monitor, also known as a Holter Monitor is a small device that is used to continually assess and record the electrical activity of your heart rate and rhythm in a 24-hour period.

This test is used to pick up any abnormalities in the heart over the period of time you are wearing it. Once the test is completed your results will be analysed and your consultant will diagnose as necessary.

Preparing, wearing and returning the monitor

There is not much you can do to prepare for this test, there is no nil-by-mouth, no water only rules and thankfully, no pain involved! Simply arrive to your appointment on the day wearing loose and appropriate clothing so the monitor to be attached under your top.

Your appointment will take around 30 minutes give or take. Small stickers called electrodes will be placed on to the skin on your chest to monitor your heart rate and rhythm. The electrodes are connected to the ECG monitor, which is small, lightweight and smaller than a smart phone. The monitor can be worn on a lanyard around your neck or attached to your waist band but your doctor will tell you the best place to wear it.

It is important to carry on your normal day-to-day activities during this time. You will be given a diary to record any symptoms or abnormal activities you have during this period, this is so if something does show up on your monitor it can be easily explained and pointed out in the results. You will be asked not to have a bath or shower during this time as we do not want to risk the monitor getting wet.

Once the 24-hour test is over you may remove the stickers and monitor yourself (you will have been shown how to do this). You will need to return the monitor and the diary back to your consultant so it can be assessed. Once all is analysed and your results are in, your consultant will arrange for you to have an appointment to explain the findings.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.