What is an EKG / ECG ?

An electrical impulse makes your heart contract. This pumps blood throughout your body. An ECG (electrocardiogram) also called an EKG, records the electrical impulse on graph paper while you are in a resting state.

Why is an ECG done?

The most common reasons: As part of a routine check-up.

To find the cause of your symptoms (this may or may not be related to your heart).

To find the best treatment for your condition.

To tell how well a medication is working.

An ECG may be repeated to check your treatment.

Who does the test?

The test is done by a staff member who has special training. A doctor with training in relation to the heart will read and report on your ECG and send the information to your doctor.

How is the test done?

Any oil or sweat is removed from the skin where the small sticky pads (called electrodes) will be placed.

Electrodes will be placed on your arms, legs and chest areas. The electrodes are connected by wires to an ECG machine where the impulses are recorded on graph paper.

The test only takes a few minutes. It does not cause any pain or discomfort.

Your doctor will discuss the results with you at a later date.

Where are ECGs done?

The test is done at hospitals, private clinics and at some doctor's offices

Developed by: Lorraine Avery and Kendra Gierys, WRHA Cardiac Sciences Program