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A continuous heart monitor is a small device that you wear. It records the electrical activity of your heart. "Continuous" means that it records your heartbeats the whole time you're wearing it.
The test is done with a monitor that is an adhesive patch. Your doctor will place it on the skin of your chest.
The device will give your doctor the same kind of information as an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). An EKG shows the heart's electrical activity as line tracings on paper.
This test is used to look for heartbeats that are too fast, too slow, or irregular. Many people have abnormal heartbeats from time to time. Because these kinds of heartbeats can come and go, it may be hard to record one while you are in the doctor's office. Wearing a heart monitor for a longer time and during your whole day makes it easier to record your abnormal heartbeats.
This test can help your doctor find out what is causing symptoms such as chest pain, fainting, or light-headedness. It also can help him or her check to see if treatment for an abnormal heartbeat is working.
You may wear the device for 1 to 2 weeks or longer. It depends on how long your doctor wants to check your heart.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
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Current as of: December 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Michael P. Pignone MD, MPH, FACP - Internal Medicine & Robert A. Kloner MD, PhD - Cardiology
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