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Holter Monitor

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HOLTER MONITOR DEFINITION

This is a monitor worn on the body to measure the electrical signals being sent through the cardiovascular system. The monitor has several sensors that are taped to the body to pick up signals.

HOLTER MONITOR PURPOSE

This can test for a wide variety of heart ailments, or for the likelihood that a “cardiac event” such as a heart attack might occur.

HOLTER MONITOR RISKS

Usually, it is a rather safe procedure, since the device merely sits on the body and records what is happening inside it. However, the monitor itself may become damaged (but should not shock you) if wet, so patients must handle it carefully. Patients are also not asked to walk through metal detectors while wearing the device.

HOLTER MONITOR PREPARATION REQUIRED

You will get an appointment for a fitting, since the device must sit properly on your body. You might want to take a bath or shower right before, since you are not supposed to bathe while wearing the monitor. If you have a hairy chest, some hair may be shaved off to make the sensors stick properly. The doctor may also give you instructions about handling the monitor, taking care of the monitor, recording your activities, using the patient button, etc.
HOLTER MONITOR
Image: HOLTER MONITOR

HOLTER MONITOR PROCEDURE

The patient, depending on whatever is being watched for, might wear the equipment anywhere from a whole day to over a month. The machine records electronic signals, and is also programmed with software to analyze these signals. The patient may also be asked to press a “patient button” whenever a particular activity or event happens, so as to place a mark on the record. Such events may include taking medicine, starting exercise, etc.

HOLTER MONITOR COMPLICATIONS

There usually are none, since this is not an invasive procedure. There may be some trouble if the patient needs to wash himself/herself, but cannot because the device may get wet.

HOLTER MONITOR SIDE EFFECTS

The device is generally quite safe.

HOLTER MONITOR RESULTS

You will get a long, detailed record of electrical signals in your cardiovascular system, which may indicate not only your cardiovascular health, but also some aspects of your brain’s health. Given the sheer quantity of information recorded, results can be quite complicated and detailed.
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