Holter Monitoring

A Holter monitor is a small device with electrodes (small sticky patches) that attach to your chest. It records the electrical activity of your heart and is worn continuously for 24-48 hours.

A HOLTER MONITOR IS USED TO

  • Detect heart problems such as:

  • Heart arrhythmia. Is an abnormal or irregular heartbeat. With some heart arrhythmias, you may not feel or know that you have an irregular heart rhythm.

  • Palpitations, such as feeling your heart racing or fluttering. It is possible to have heart palpitations and not have a heart arrhythmia.

  • A heart rhythm that is too slow or too fast.

  • If you have problems fainting, near fainting or feeling light-headed, a Holter monitor may be worn to see if your heart is the cause.

HOLTER MONITOR PREPARATION

  • Electrodes will be attached to the skin on your chest.

  • If you have hair on your chest, small areas may have to be shaved. This is done to help the patches stick better and make the recording more accurate.

  • The electrodes are attached by wires to the Holter monitor. The Holter monitor clips to your clothing. You will wear the monitor at all times, even while exercising and sleeping.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wear your monitor at all times.

  • The wires and the monitor must stay dry. Do not get the monitor wet.

  • Do not bathe, swim or use a hot tub with it on.

  • You may do a "sponge" bath while you have the monitor on.

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

  • It's possible that your skin under the electrodes could become irritated. To keep this from happening, you may put the electrodes in slightly different places on your chest.

  • Your caregiver will also ask you to keep a diary of your activities, such as walking or doing chores. Be sure to note what you are doing if you experience heart symptoms such as palpitations. This will help your caregiver determine what might be contributing to your symptoms. The information stored in your monitor will be reviewed by your caregiver alongside your diary entries.

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

  • The monitor and electrodes are removed when the test is over. Return the monitor as directed.

  • Be sure to follow up with your caregiver and discuss your Holter monitor results.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You faint or feel lightheaded.

  • You have trouble breathing.

  • You get pain in your chest, upper arm or jaw.

  • You feel sick to your stomach and your skin is pale, cool, or damp.

  • You think something is wrong with the way your heart is beating.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.