Ambulatory ECG monitor

What is an ambulatory ECG monitor (R test)?
The R Test ECG recorder is a small lightweight heart monitor worn for between three to seven days. This gives a better indication of your heart rhythm while you go about your daily activities than a single short ECG recording with your doctor. It helps to correlate symptoms of dizziness, palpitations (a sensation of fast or irregular heart rhythm) or black-outs with changes in heart rhythm. It can also help evaluate your ECG during episodes of chest pain, during which time there may be tell-tale changes to suggest ischaemia or reduced blood supply to the muscle of the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber of the heart).

The R-test is designed to continuously record your heart rhythm and store all significant events. You can also trigger a special recording if you feel any symptoms whilst wearing the monitor by pressing a special 'event' button.

The R-test is suspended on a necklace and connects via a cable to two adhesive electrodes (sticky pads) placed on your chest by the technician or doctor. The chest is cleaned with an alcohol solution to ensure good attachment of the sticky EKG electrodes. Men with hairy chest may require small areas to be shaved.

You should continue with your normal lifestyle with the R Test monitor attached. A diary or log is provided so that you can record activity (walking the dog, upset at neighbour, etc.) and symptoms (skipped heartbeats, chest discomfort, dizziness, etc.) together with the time. The monitor has an internal clock which stamp the time on the ECG strips. These can be used to correlate the heart rhythm with symptoms or complaints.

You should wear the recorder for as long as possible during the test period, removing the monitor only for washing, bathing or showering.

If you feel any symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness or palpitations whilst wearing the monitor, you can make a special recording by pressing the large black button in the centre of the R Test recorder.

You may or may not hear a short beep when you press the button and two short beeps several seconds or minutes later.

If possible, you should write down the time and date of your symptoms and what you were doing when you felt them. This information can be useful and should be given to the doctor or technician when you return the monitor.

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