WHAT IS A HOLTER MONITOR?
The Holter monitor is a continuous tape recording for EKG patients for 24 hours. Since it can be used during the normal daily activities of the patient, it helps the doctor to associate symptoms of dizziness or palpitations (fast or irregular heartbeat) or black contact.
It is a device used by the patient for 24 hours to provide continuous monitoring of the heart rate, outside the doctor’s office.
It is still possible to use Holter screens. There are smaller, waterproof counters, and they can provide monitoring for up to two weeks.
Purpose Of A Holter Monitor
If you are being treated for heart problems or a suspected heart problem, one way to check your heart “in action” is to have you wear a Holter monitor for 24-48 hours. The monitor is a miniature tape recorder. The tape recorder is connected to four electrodes that are taped to your chest.
The monitor records the rhythm of your heartbeat while you go about your normal daily activities. While you are wearing the monitor, you will keep a diary of your activities, including walking, moving your bowels, sleeping, eating and sexual activity. You will also note any strong emotions that you feel such as anger, sorrow, frustration or happiness. Some Holter monitors come with a button you can press if you start to feel symptoms. Pressing the button produces an electronic marker on the tape. This marks the exact time you feel the symptoms.
Holter Monitor Procedure
A nurse or a technician will shave the hair off 4 or 4 spots on your chest, clean the skin with alcohol. The nurse or technician will then tape the electrodes onto your chest. The electrode wires will be connected to the tape recorder, which you will wear on a belt underneath your clothes. The recorder weighs a pound or less.
How does a Holter monitor tracks your heart activity?
It works similarly to EKG, where electrodes are attached to the chest and cardiac activity is recorded in a portable device worn or worn by the patient. At the end of the test, at least 24-48 hours, the device is returned to the doctor, who will read the results and translate it, again, very similar to the EKG results.
Holter Monitor Results
You will return to your doctor’s office to have the electrodes removed. The doctor will examine the recordings of the Holter Monitor and compare it with the logs of your diary. He or she will then have a better idea of what your heart problem may be, or of how well your heart is responding to treatment.