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What is an ECG?

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the simplest and fastest tests used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches that stick to the skin) are placed at certain spots on the chest, arms, and legs. These electrodes are then connected by lead wires to an ECG machine, which is called an electrocardiography. The electrocardiograph records the electrical activity of the heart muscle and displays this data as a trace on a screen or on paper. This data is then interpreted by a medical practitioner, with no electricity actually sent into the body.

How can I prepare for an ECG? 

Fortunately, there are no special requirements prior to conducting the test. Please allow a duration of approximately 15 minutes during which the test may be carried out. 

The Procedure

Patients will be required to remove all items of clothing from the waist up; ladies may request a gown or sheet to cover up if necessary. The patient's skin will be prepared for the procedure using some rough paper and alcohol wipes. Once attached to the patient, 12 electrodes will be then connected to the ECG machine in order to measure the heart's electrical activity. The patient will then be asked to lie in a stationary position and breathe normally, so that 2 or 3 readings may be taken. 

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