Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

What is it for?

An electrocardiogram (often called an EKG or ECG) is used to check for problems with the electrical activity of the heart. It can even tell if the walls of the heart are too thick or if the heart is damaged. The test detects and translates the heart's electrical activity into line tracings.

How is it done?

You will be asked to lie down, then a health-care provider will clean several areas on your legs, arms and chest, and attach electrodes to the areas. The electrodes, small patches with a wire, are connected to a machine that translates the electrical activity of the heart into wavy lines. During the test you will be asked to lie still and breathe normally.

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