Some time last year I started to have chest pains during the night and they did not ease with pain killers, or remedies for trapped gas and other similar problems which may cause such pains. Getting worried, I was persuaded to go to the hospital to get the pains checked out and I was hooked up to an ECG monitor. The ECG reading was displayed on the screen next to the bed and once the ECG scan was complete, I was reassured that the pains were not heart related.
This was a relief although at the time I was really scared, not knowing what to expect. The incident also acted as a wake up call for me to take better care of my health, and to try and lose some weight also. Since then there have been no further problems and I have felt fine. However, an advert caught my eye last week which was for a portable home ECG monitor.
The thinking behind this was that since the doctors are always short of time and that hospitals are always short staffed, you could take the reading at home when the pains start and then show the ECG reading to the doctor when you see him/her. This ECG monitor was advertised as being very easy to use with a high resolution screen and backlight for user friendly ECG reading and being light, portable and compact. The analysis and displays are supposed to be excellent, with a large memory space for multiple readings.
ECG stands for “electrocardiogram” or “electrocardiography” for the science, and an “electrocardiograph” for the machine. It measures the electric activity of the heart and checks for any damage, change in the size and position of the chambers and checks for arrhythmia which is any problem with the rate and regularity of your heartbeat.
An ECG scan is done to check for problems when a patient is complaining of chest pains, palpitations and shortness of breath. The patient is hoked up to the ECG monitor for a few minutes and a reading is taken. The ECG reading is then shown to the doctor who can make a diagnosis and order any further tests which may be required. If the problem is caught early enough, it can often be sorted out with the use of medicine and a change in lifestyle. If it is left too late or if the symptoms only show themselves at a later stage, then surgery is often needed to correct any major problem with the heart.
It is for this reason that early diagnosis with an ECG scan is important, so that treatment can be started and the quality of life can be improved for the patient. The heart is the most important organ in the body, and works the hardest. We need to look after it and make sure that we eat a healthy diet as well getting plenty of exercise. Smoking is also a very thing for the heart, as is stress and being overweight.