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Holter monitoring is a test that records a patient's heart beat for 24, 48, or 72 hours. It provides the doctor with a continuous reading of the patient's heart rhythm over specific time periods. There is no pain or risk associated with this test.
The holter monitor is a battery-powered device with highly sensitive electrodes that can pick up the heart's electrical impulses. It records what the heart is doing when a patient is experiencing chest pains or irregular heart beats. The print out enables a doctor to diagnose any problems and prescribe a treatment plan that best suits the patient's needs.
For this test, a patient has to visit the hospital to have the monitor fitted and to receive instructions on how to use it. A technician will place small disks or electrodes on the patient's chest. These electrodes are attached to wires or leads that connect to a small device to be worn on a belt around the waist. The patient is advised to carry on a normal routine and keep a log of all the daily activities. The patient MUST NOT shower or bathe for the duration of the test, as it is important to keep the monitor and electrodes dry.