If you’ve developed symptoms such as heart palpitations, fatigue, chest pain, or shortness of breath, you may need an electrocardiogram (EKG) to monitor your heart activity. Danny Hernandez, MD, CIME, provides EKG testing at the DWH Medical Center offices in Allentown and Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today to get an EKG.

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What is an electrocardiogram?

An EKG is a diagnostic test that monitors your heart activity. An EKG records all the electrical activity in your heart and can reveal details about your cardiovascular health for accurate diagnoses and effective treatment plans.

How does an EKG work?

Every one of your heartbeats is stimulated by an electrical impulse issued by your brain and triggered in the upper right chamber of your heart. An EKG measures the strength and timing of those impulses at 12 different points in your heart. You wear 10 electrodes on your chest during the test, which collect the details about your heartbeat and electrical activity.

EKGs only gather information while you wear them. You may need to have several EKGs or use an at-home heart monitoring option for a more comprehensive picture of your heart activity.

When do I need an EKG?

Dr. Hernandez uses EKGs to diagnose a variety of heart and cardiovascular conditions, including:

  • Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
  • Signs of blocked or narrowed arteries (coronary artery disease) in your heart
  • Causes of chest pain or heart attack
  • Structural problems in your heart
  • The effectiveness of current treatment for heart disease

Dr. Hernandez orders EKGs when you experience symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue or weakness, or heart palpitations.

What happens during an EKG?

Your EKG takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Dr. Hernandez or a member of his team attaches the 10 electrodes to your chest. You either lay flat on a treatment table or walk on a treadmill while the electrodes record the electrical activity in your heart.

EKGs are painless, although if you have chest hair, you may want to remove it before your test to avoid the discomfort of it being pulled out by the roots when your technician removes the electrodes.

The equipment creates an image of the patterns formed as the electrical impulses move through your heart. Dr. Hernandez can study these images to identify which part of your heart is causing your symptoms or see if a previous heart attack has damaged your heart.

If you need an EKG, call DWH Medical Center or schedule an appointment online today.