Top of the page
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG translates the heart's electrical activity into line tracings on paper.
You may need this test to check your heart's electrical activity. The test also can check the health of your heart. For example, it can help find the cause of unexplained chest pain or other symptoms of heart disease.
An EKG is a completely safe test. No electricity passes through your body from the machine, and there is no danger of getting an electrical shock.
The test usually takes 5 to 10 minutes.
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.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter E180 in the search box to learn more about "Electrocardiogram (EKG): About This Test".
Current as of: April 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.