ECG of the heart: indications and the course of the examination

Electrocardiography, also known as an ECG, is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart muscle and is used to diagnose heart disease. Under the National Health Fund, heart ECGs are performed gratis. The patient won’t experience any pain from the test. Pregnant women can have them done.

Indications for ECG of the heart

Every two years, people over 40 should have a heart ECG. This makes it possible to identify potential circulatory system changes as soon as possible. 

  • palpitations ,
  • hypertension ,
  • pain in the chest,
  • fainting, 
  • weakness and feeling tired.

A heart ECG is also performed in patients who are at high risk of heart disease (family history, diseases accompanying heart problems) and in people: 

  • with a diagnosed disease of the circulatory and heart system, 
  • with suspected heart disease, 
  • having a pacemaker .

How to prepare for a heart ECG?

You don’t need to prepare for a heart ECG test because it is a safe procedure. The patient does not have to be on a fasting regimen. You must, however, keep in mind a few guidelines. You shouldn’t: the day of the exam and the day before it.

  • consume alcohol, cold drinks and coffee, 
  • engage in strong physical exertion, 
  • eat large meals. 

Additionally, refrain from smoking two hours before the heart’s ECG. Patients with thick chest hair should shave to make an examination easier.

Heart ECG – waveform

The patient should take off all jewellery and things made of metal. He is then instructed to partially undress. The patient is lying flat during the examination. Each limb has an electrode that resembles a paperclip. A heart ECG typically lasts 5 to 10 minutes. A cardiologist should interpret the ECG results and, if additional testing is required, will order it.



4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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