What is 24 ECG (Holter) monitoring?

Simply put a Holter monitor is a device used by doctors to check a patient’s heart function for any unusual signs.  This can be worn for 24 – 48 hours to give the doctor more information over a longer period than a routine ECG. With a standard ECG machine, you are only attached to the machine for a short period of time but with 24 ECG Holter monitoring your doctor will have more information to analyse.

How does it work?

You will be fitted with a device that will detect heart rate, rhythm, oxygen levels and/or any unusual signs.  The device has several parts. There is the small portable monitoring device and the electrodes/gel tabs and leads.  The electrodes are sticky glue gel tabs which are attached to key parts of your chest, the leads are attached to these and then the device. The device can be worn on your belt or around your neck.  It must be worn close to your body.   

What do I have to do first?

Make an appointment first. You will need to come to our clinic to have the electrodes, leads and monitor fitted at this appointment.

What do I need to do before my appointment?

Preparation for your appointment is easy. Make sure you are wearing loose fitting clothing and have showered before coming to the appointment.  Males may need to shave small parts of their chest to ensure the electrodes/tabs will stick to your chest. Do not use talcum powder or creams or body lotions before your appointment, these may lessen the adhesion of the electrodes.

What do I do once it is set up?

Once your device has been set up you need to go about your daily activities (or as directed by your doctor).   

The monitor cannot be dropped.  You need to make sure you are careful with the monitor and do not damage it.  If it is dropped this may affect your results if you damage the monitor or drop it contact us to let us know.

What if the electrodes or leads come off?
At your appointment when the device is fitted you will be shown what to do if the leads or electrodes come off. The electrodes just stick back on, make sure they are put back in the same place and press firmly.  The lead just reattaches easily.

Perspiration and sweating
Avoid activities which may cause excessive sweating, the electrodes may become detached.  If this is the case wipe the area dry and replace the electrode by placing in the correct spot and pressing firmly.

Medication.  Advise your doctor before you come for the test what medications you are taking.  Follow your doctor’s advice as some medications may interfere with results.