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You probably have come across an ECG monitor but are unsure about its purpose, benefits, and work. If that’s the case, you’re at the right place. In this blog, the cardiologist in Magnolia, Texas, has addressed ECG monitoring and how it works. By the end of this blog, you’ll understand the importance of ECG monitoring for your heart health. Here’s a simple introduction to ECG monitoring, so hear us out!
Physiology and function of the heart
Before we jump straight to ECG monitoring, let’s discuss the basic physiology of the heart. Here are some basics of heart physiology and function to better understand the topic.
- The heart has four chambers. The upper two chambers are entry points into the heart, while the lower two chambers are the points that send blood out to the body.
- The heart circulation is split into two loops: the pulmonary loop and the systemic loop.
- One cardiac cycle refers to a complete heartbeat. The frequency of this cycle is known as your heart rate or heartbeats per minute.
- The heart operates without any nervous stimuli, unlike other body parts.
- The heart’s rhythmic contractors are spontaneous and sensitive to hormonal or nervous influences.
What is ECG?
ECG or electrocardiography is the process of electrocardiogram production, or simply it’s a process of recording the heart’s electrical activity. It uses electrodes placed on your skin and gives the graph of voltage vs. time of the heart’s electrical activity. An ECG scan analyzes the heart’s rhythm, detects irregularities, and spots other cardiac issues that might cause serious health problems like a heart attack or stroke.
ECG Monitor: Working
The ECG machine connects the electrodes by lead wires to get an ECG trace. Your heart’s electrical activity is measured, interpreted, and printed out with this process. As the electrical signals move through your heart, the ECG monitor notes the strength and timing between each signal in the graph, called a P wave. But your body won’t receive any electricity during the procedure. Natural electrical impulses make sure different parts of your heart keep the blood flowing like it should.
ECG Monitor: Duration
The duration of an ECG test depends on the type of test your doctor performs, and the time can range from a few seconds to minutes. There are also more continuous monitoring devices to record ECG for several days or weeks.
The Most Lifestyle Friendly Way to Monitor ECG
It’s not very convenient to wear wires and patches in the doctor’s office for the long term. Traditional ECG recording also requires skin preparation which is not the most lifestyle-friendly way. Nowadays, engineers have developed ECG monitors that don’t need patches and wires. Patients can now use these devices at home and easily connect with their smartphones.
Why combine ECG with other sensors?
ECG monitor alone cannot tell whether the arousal is due to a positive or negative stimulus. It can only tell the change in heart rate. Therefore, ECG monitoring is often combined with multiple sensors, such as EEG (electroencephalogram), eye tracking, and facial expression analysis, to effectively measure emotional arousal and emotional valence.
Because every heartbeat matters, get in touch with the cardiologist in Magnolia, Texas, for simple, smart, and intuitive care!