Event Detectors may be used for patients that have recurring symptoms of chest pain, dizziness, or fainting. If the physician feels that the patient has an abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia (ah-rith’me-ah), an electrocardiogram will be done. However, since an arrhythmia (where the heart may beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly) may not occur during the electrocardiogram, which lasts less than a minute, an event monitor may be required to record the heart rhythm during the patient’s symptoms, or an “event”. The patient will carry the event monitor over a period of a month or sometimes longer as they go about their normal routine. The event monitor is capable of recording several minutes of the hearts electrical activity, which is initiated by the patient during symptoms or an “event.”
Our office currently has two basic types of event recorders that can be ordered by your physician.
The King of Hearts has a memory loop that will allow the device to remember what it recorded for several seconds/minutes before and after an event. The King of Hearts is about the size of a pager, and it is attached to two small electrodes, placed on your chest. It is worn day and night while it scans the electrical activity of your heart. When you experience symptoms, you manually activate the King of Hearts by pressing a button. At your convenience, you can then call our office during normal business hours to transmit the data to us.
The Heart Card is a credit-card style recorder that can be carried in a pocket or a purse. This devices does not have a memory loop so it cannot remember what happened before the record button was pressed. When you feel symptoms, you hold the card against the skin of your chest and press record. It records/stores about 30 seconds of your heart rhythm after the event. However, the Heart Card starts recording only after it is activated.
Regardless of what event machine is used, it is important to keep a diary during the period you carry the device and record events. The physicians generally need the date and time of each event, what symptoms you experienced (dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, chest pain, etc), and what you were doing at the time.
Once the data has been sent to our office, one of our physicians will review and interpret the information.