A Holter Monitor is a compact device that can be worn by the patient to keep a track of the heart’s rhythm. The standard wired Holter monitor can be worn by the patient for a day or two, and if that is unable to capture irregularities of the heart’s rhythm, a wireless Holter Monitor may be worn. The wireless monitor can work for weeks. During the time the monitor is worn, it keeps recording the heartbeats of the patient. This test is performed in case a doctor is unable to record enough information about the heart’s condition from other tests like an electrocardiogram. The information that is captured by the Holter Monitor is used to determine if the patient has heart rhythm problems.
Why is it done?
If the patient is suffering from symptoms of some heart problem, the first step is to check for arrhythmia through an electrocardiogram test. But owing to the time constraints of an electrocardiogram, it might not be possible for the test to detect abnormal rhythms. That is when a Holter Monitor test is suggested by the doctor.
The test may also be performed if the patient is already suffering from a heart disease that increases the chances of arrhythmia. The Holter Monitor might be suggested in this case even if abnormal rhythm symptoms have not yet shown up in a patient.
There are no risks when it comes to wearing a Holter Monitor, except for possible discomfort or irritation of the skin where the electrodes are placed. However, a patient should take care to avoid getting the monitor wet. The monitor is not affected by electrical appliances usually but avoiding metal detectors, microwaves, magnets, etc. is suggested as these devices might interrupt the signals of the monitor.
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