Electrocardiogram (ECG)

What is an Electrocardiogram (ECG)?

An Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a very simple and quick test which looks at the electrical activity of the heart over time. It has been used in cardiology for many years (the first taken in 1872) and is a fundamental part of assessing the rhythm of the heart.

The world’s first human ECG was performed in our Cardiology Department at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. The ECG provides a very short snapshot, about 10 seconds of the hearts rhythm and typically records 12 “leads” of activity from different areas of the body.

What happens during an Electrocardiogram (ECG)

If an ECG is requested you will be given a gown and asked to undress to the waist. Sticker or electrodes will then be attached across the chest and limbs. Wires or leads will be attached to the electrodes and a machine will then record the ECG. As a paperless practice your ECG is attached to your electronic care record. You will not feel anything during the ECG.

What happens after an Electrocardiogram (ECG)

After your ECG is taken it will be downloaded and attached to your electronic care record. Our consultants are able to view this anywhere. The ECG can be printed if you require copies on the day.

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