Measures the heart's electrical activity to help evaluate its function and identify any problems that might exist. The EKG can help determine the rate and regularity of heartbeats, the size and position of the heart's chambers, and whether there is any damage present.
There is nothing painful about getting an EKG. You will be is asked to lie down, and a series of small metal tabs (called electrodes) are fixed to the skin with sticky papers. These electrodes are placed in a standard pattern on the shoulders, the chest, the wrists, and the ankles. After the electrodes are in place, you will be is asked to hold still and may be asked to hold his or her breath briefly while the heartbeats are recorded for a short period. The information is interpreted by a machine and drawn as a graph. The graph consists of multiple waves, which reflect the activity of the heart.