Cardiac Event Monitoring

ExitCare ImageA cardiac event monitor is a small recording device used to help detect abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia s). The monitor is used to record heart rhythm when noticeable symptoms such as the following occur:

  • Fast heart beats (palpitations), such as heart racing or fluttering.

  • Dizziness.

  • Fainting or lightheadedness.

  • Unexplained weakness.

The monitor is wired to two electrodes placed on your chest. Electrodes are flat, sticky disks that attach to your skin. The monitor can be worn for up to 30 days. You will wear the monitor at all times, except when bathing.

HOW TO USE YOUR CARDIAC EVENT MONITOR

A technician will prepare your chest for the electrode placement. The technician will show you how to place the electrodes, how to work the monitor, and how to replace the batteries. Take time to practice using the monitor before you leave the office. Make sure you understand how to send the information from the monitor to your health care provider. This requires a telephone with a landline, not a cellphone. You need to:

  • Wear your monitor at all times, except when you are in water:

  • Do not get the monitor wet.

  • Take the monitor off when bathing. Do not swim or use a hot tub with it on.

  • Keep your skin clean. Do not put body lotion or moisturizer on your chest.

  • Change the electrodes daily or any time they stop sticking to your skin. You might need to use tape to keep them on.

  • It is possible that your skin under the electrodes could become irritated. To keep this from happening, try to put the electrodes in slightly different places on your chest. However, they must remain in the area under your left breast and in the upper right section of your chest.

  • Make sure the monitor is safely clipped to your clothing or in a location close to your body that your health care provider recommends.

  • Press the button to record when you feel symptoms of heart trouble, such as dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness, palpitations, thumping, shortness of breath, unexplained weakness, or a fluttering or racing heart. The monitor is always on and records what happened slightly before you pressed the button, so do not worry about being too late to get good information.

  • Keep a diary of your activities, such as walking, doing chores, and taking medicine. It is especially important to note what you were doing when you pushed the button to record your symptoms. This will help your health care provider determine what might be contributing to your symptoms. The information stored in your monitor will be reviewed by your health care provider alongside your diary entries.

  • Send the recorded information as recommended by your health care provider. It is important to understand that it will take some time for your health care provider to process the results.

  • Change the batteries as recommended by your health care provider.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have extreme difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

  • You develop a very fast heartbeat that persists.

  • You develop dizziness that does not go away .

  • You faint or constantly feel you are about to faint.