Electrocardiography also known as EKG or ECG is a procedure which records the electrical activity of the heart, as well as valuable information about the structure of the heart and it’s function.

The ECG or EKG, will give information on the heart rate, rhythm, hypertrophy or changes in the blood flow through various segments of the heart.

What are the preparations ?

No special preparations may be necessary. You may be required to dress with a comfortable wear, that can be easily removed. Do not drink alcohol or cold water immediately before an ECG as this may interfere with the cardiac signals.

What happens during an ECG ?

Resting ECG

The standard, resting ECG takes a few minutes. You will be asked to undress to the waist and lie down on a bed or couch. A number of sticky patches called electrodes will be stuck onto your arms, legs and chest. If you have a lot of hair on your chest, some small patches may need to be shaved to allow the electrodes to make contact with your skin.

The electrodes are attached to a recording machine by wires.. You should lie still when the recording is being taken as moving can affect the reading.

Exercise ECG

You may be asked to exercise, either by walking on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary exercise bike. If you aren’t able to exercise, sometimes a drug called adenosine can be used to stimulate the effect of exercise.  The doctor or technician will monitor your ECG along with your blood pressure and heart rate, every few minutes while you’re exercising.

The test will last between a few minutes and 15 minutes.

Once your ECG and blood pressure have returned to normal, you will be able to go home.

For further information, visit: Bupa.co.uk/individuals/health- information/ directory/ e/electrocardiography