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Does your heart skip a beat? If it’s not love then Holter monitor could detect the cause.

A Holter monitor is a compact device that is easily wearable. It records the heartbeat during the duration it is worn by the patient. A Holter monitor test is usually recommended after performing an electrocardiogram to check the heart rhythm. Sometimes, an ECG is unable to detect any irregularities in the heart rhythm because it is attached to the patient only for a short duration. If the signs and symptoms in a patient point to an occasional irregular heart rhythm, the doctor may recommend a 24-hour Holter monitor test. The Holter monitor may be able to detect the irregularities in the heart rhythm that an electrocardiogram is unable to detect.

The Holter monitor is small device, slightly bigger than a deck of playing cards. To attach a Holter Monitor, the chest is first cleansed with an alcohol solution to ensure good attachment of the sticky ECG electrodes. The ECG electrodes are then attached to the chest. Men with hairy chest may require small areas to be shaved off to ensure good grip. The electrodes are then connected to a monitor. The monitor is secured to the patient's belt or slung over the shoulder or around the neck with a disposable pouch. The monitor is worn for 24 hours and the patient is encouraged to continue daily activities. A diary or a log is provided so that the patient can make a note of activities, mood swings or any symptoms alongside the time it occurred. This will help the doctor understand the results better. The monitor has an internal clock which records the time on the Holter ECG strips which is used to correlate the heart rhythm with symptoms or complaints. After 24 hours, the Holter monitor will be removed and sent to the laboratory for further investigations. The results will be sent to the doctor.

While attached to the Holter monitor, that patient has to keep the monitor close to the body to make sure the readings are accurate. The monitor should be prevented from getting wet to ensure accuracy of the report. Magnetic and electrical fields may interfere with the monitor’s function therefore it is crucial to avoid any such instances while wearing the monitor.

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