Ambulatory ECG monitoring

What is an ambulatory ECG?

This is a simple recording of your heartbeat that requires you to wear a small monitor home for 24 or 48 hours.

Why do I need to have this test?

Your doctor has requested that you have this simple non-invasive test in order to monitor every heartbeat for 24 or 48 hours.

Preparing for the test

What should I do before the test?

We will be attaching five electrodes to your chest so it is important that your skin is clean. You will be unable to have a bath or shower for the duration of the recording.

What should I wear when I attend for my test?

It would be most helpful if you could wear clothing that makes it easy to access your chest. A t-shirt, shirt or blouse would be preferable.

What happens during the test?

You carry out your normal daily activities.

Will I experience any discomfort or side effects?

On rare occasions patients can experience an allergic reaction to the electrodes. If this happens, the electrodes can be removed immediately.

After the test

What happens after the test?

You will need to return the equipment to the Welcome Desk at the main entrance after 24/48 hours or as instructed at your appointment. The results will be downloaded onto a computer and analysed by a cardiac physiologist.

When/how will I receive the results of the test?

The analysed results will be passed onto the doctor that requested the test. You are usually told the results at your next clinic appointment or a letter may be sent to your GP.

What will happen if I do not want to have this test?

If you do not have this test we will not be able to pass important diagnostic information to the doctors. This may affect the medical treatment that you receive.

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© North Bristol NHS Trust. This edition published October 2019. Review due October 2021. NBT002240

Ambulatory ECG monitoring