Cardiac event monitors

What is a Cardiac Event Monitor?

A cardiac event monitor is a medical device used to detect and/or monitor abnormal heart rhythms. It is generally used to detect and record symptoms of arrhythmias which may occur intermittently over a long period of time. A cardiac event monitor is also referred to as a Holter monitor, event loop recorder, or ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor.

Preparation for Cardiac Event Monitors

Before a cardiac event monitor can be used, a healthcare provider will need to perform a series of activities to ensure that the device is properly configured and functioning. This includes:

  • Conducting a physical evaluation and obtaining a health history.
  • Explaining how to use the device, how to attach electrodes, and how to report symptoms.
  • Testing the monitor to ensure it is operating correctly.
  • Instructing the patient on how to adjust the monitor if necessary.
  • Setting up a communication system so that the patient can report symptoms.

Procedure for Cardiac Event Monitors

The patient will be asked to wear the cardiac event monitor for a predetermined period of time, typically 24-48 hours. During this period, the patient should go about their regular activities. If arrhythmia is detected, the patient will be asked to press a button on the device, which will alert the healthcare provider.

Types of Cardiac Event Monitors

There are several types of cardiac event monitors available, including:

  • Holter Monitor – A device that is worn for 24 hours and can detect and record heart rhythms for up to 24 hours.
  • Ambulatory Electrocardiogram (ECG) – A device that continuously monitors the heart rhythm for up to 48 hours.
  • Event Loop Recorder – A type of ECG that is worn for up to two weeks and stores heart rhythms when certain symptoms occur.
  • Implantable Loop Recorder – A miniature device that is surgically implanted in the chest and can monitor and store heart rhythms for up to three years.

Risks of Cardiac Event Monitors

Although there are no major risks associated with using a cardiac event monitor, there are a few potential issues that should be discussed with a healthcare provider before the device is used. These include skin irritation, infection, and the possibility of electric shock.

Why Are Cardiac Event Monitors Used?

Cardiac event monitors are used to diagnose and monitor arrhythmias, which are abnormal heart rhythms. They can also be used to identify the cause of symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, and fainting.

When Are Cardiac Event Monitors Used?

Cardiac event monitors are typically used when a patient has experienced symptoms that may indicate an arrhythmia, but the cause of the symptoms has not been determined. This type of monitoring can help to identify the type and cause of the arrhythmia.