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Holter Monitor (ECG):

This procedure involves the application of three ECG electrodes on your chest, connected to a small monitor which will track and capture the electrical rhythms of your heart over 24 hours. The Holter monitor provides information about how the changes in your heart rhythm correspond with your daily activities and sleep patterns.

This procedure involves the fitting of electrodes (three sticky dots) to your skin, these will then be linked to three leads which connect to a small monitor. The person fitting your monitor will assist to prepare the area by wiping your skin down. It is preferable if the chest area is free from hair to ensure good quality tracking, the person fitting your device can shave the area required or you can complete this prior to.

It is important that during the 24-hour period the leads do not disconnect from the sticky electrodes (dots). If the leads detach you can simply reattach immediately to ensure the monitor continues to track.

What do you have to do?

There are two appointments with this procedure, both requiring appointment bookings. The first appointment is to fit the monitor and the second is the following day to remove the monitor after it has been worn for 24 hours.

A patient diary is issued to record details during the 24 hours such as any physical/strenuous activity, medication use, sleep times and any symptoms experienced. There are two options for a patient diary, the first being a paper document provided by us or the alternative being via the phone application. The application is called “symptoms – spacelabs eclipse” and can be downloaded in the application store.

To prepare for the examination you should shower prior to the appointment for the fitting of the device. During the time which you are wearing the monitor it must not get wet, therefore no showering or bathing for the duration of the 24 hours with the monitor. Avoid using any lotions, powders, spray deodorants and perfumes after your shower as this can reduce the quality of the Holter tracing. Ensure that you are wearing loose fitting tops to make it easy for the fitting of the monitor, for women underwire bras can be worn however it is more comfortable and preferable that a wire-free or sports bra is worn.

While wearing the Holter monitor you will not be able to:

• Use magnetic underlay, waterbed heater or electric blanket as these may interfere with the device.

• Have X-rays, MRI’s or any other imaging examinations – any non-urgent scans will need to be rescheduled.

• Shower, bathe or swim – The monitor must not get wet

• Use circulation boosters and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TFNS) devices.

You can:

• Continue to use your mobile phone but it is recommended you limit the use wherever possible.

• Use a microwave, however, stand to the side where possible, not directly in front.

 

What happens after?

 

When you come in to have the monitor removed be sure to bring in the patient diary and any notes taken during the 24 hours.

Once the monitor is removed your skin may be a little red and/or itchy from the lectrodes. For minor irritation, you can apply some paw paw ointment or speak to a pharmacist about an over-the-counter steroidal cream. If you find the areas painful, the skin has broken, or you have any concerns please seek medical advice from your doctor or other health care professional. Please let your collector know of any concerns so they can provide you with the appropriate care and advice.

The data on your Holter monitor is uploaded and analysed by an experienced team of Cardiac Scientists before being reviewed by a specialist doctor, a Cardiologist. A detailed report is generated and sent to your doctor by secure electronic transmission within several working days of the monitor being removed. You will need to make a follow-up appointment with your doctor to go through your results. Allow 2 to 3 working days after having your monitor removed before returning to see your doctor regarding the results. Your doctor should contact you if any urgent follow-up is required.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

If you have any questions or concerns during the 24-hour monitoring period,
please do not hesitate to contact us so we can assist you. The below FAQ’s may be able to assist in providing an answer as well.

If you become unwell during this period and or have concerns regarding your health, please seek medical assistance from your doctor or hospital.

Most of your normal activities can be maintained while you are wearing the
monitor, and this is recommended so that your doctor can see what happens to your heart’s electrical activity on a typical day and what may induce your symptoms. However, there are some restrictions – you cannot shower, bathe or swim until the monitor is removed as it must not get wet.

As a rule, you can continue to play sport/exercise if this is a typical activity for you, except for any water-based activities and contact sports as it can lead to damage of the monitor. If you do exercise or play sport, be sure to record the details in your diary.

Excessive sweating may reduce the adhesiveness of the electrodes and their ability to stick to your skin. If this occurs, the quality of the data we obtain might be reduced. If you are able, reattach the electrode/s please do so asap.

You will be required to reschedule any imaging appointments to when you are not wearing the Holter monitor as the imaging procedures will interfere with the recording and cause damage to the monitor. If the scan you require is urgent, please let us know and we can rebook your 24-hour Holter monitor.

The Holter Monitor you are wearing has two buttons on the front of the device. The only time you should press a button is if you have an ‘event’ – i.e. you begin to feel unwell and/or experience symptoms. In this instance, press a button once. The current time will display on the screen briefly before reverting to the intermittent smiley face.
Aside from recording an event, the buttons should not be pressed.
A small blue smiley face will intermittently appear on the display of the Holter monitor every 5–10 seconds. This indicates the device is recording correctly.
If the smiley face is no longer appearing on the display and the monitor has turned off, if it is during business hours, call us and we can assist you. If it is after hours, gently detach the lead/wire from each electrode, you can remove the electrodes from your skin and keep the device somewhere safe. Note down the time which you removed the device in your patient diary, also take a photo of your devices screen prior to removing. Attend your scheduled removal appointment and explain to the technician what occurred.
If you are unsure as to whether the monitor is working or not, it is best to leave it on so data can continue to be captured if it is still working. Do not try and turn the monitor back on, any data will be lost, and the test will need to be repeated.

For your safety, it is important you remove the monitor pouch and strap from around your neck or waist when you go to sleep. Place the monitor next to you on the bed or another nearby surface. Ensure there are no kinks in the wires where possible.

Yes, you can continue to use your C-PAP machine. Care should be taken to ensure the C-PAP cables do not become entangled with the Holter leads in any way.

You should continue to take your usual medications as prescribed whilst wearing the Holter Monitor unless otherwise advised by your doctor.

Ensure to add what medication and the time it was taken into your patient diary

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Please ensure that you have your Medicare card and referral with you and pop into our radiology clinic for your X-ray. If you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us, as we are here to help.

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