Electrocardiogram EKG

What happens during an EKG?

The technologist will apply electrodes (small sticky patches) that will adhere to your chest. You may need to remove your clothing from the waist up and put on a patient gown. Electrodes will be placed on your chest, arms and legs.

These electrodes will be connected to wires that will transmit the electrical signal to the ECG machine. After approximately 15 seconds, a graph will print out and the procedure will be complete. The technologist will remove the wires and electrodes and assist you with your clothing if needed.

Your doctor will look at the wave pattern and use this information to measure:

  • Effects of drugs or devices used to regulate the heart, such as a pacemaker
  • Heart rhythm and heart rate
  • Size and position of your heart chambers

The test takes about five to ten minutes to complete.

Why is an EKG done?

An electrocardiogram is used to help your doctor to detect:

  • A heart attack while it is occurring
  • A prior heart attack
  • Heart defects
  • Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
  • Narrowed or blocked arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease)
  • Problems with your heart valves

Your doctor will talk with you about the results and answer any questions you may have.

Find a Physician

Find a physician online or call 215-345-2121 (Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) to speak with a referral counselor.