An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) measures the electrical activity of your heart. Small electrical sensors, called electrodes, are placed on your skin to sense the heart's electrical activity. These electrical signals are turned into a graph that can give your doctor an idea of whether or not your heart is beating normally.

How You Benefit

The heart specialists at Portsmouth Regional Hospital use EKGs to help:

  • Diagnose heart attacks, arrhythmias and other heart conditions
  • Detect conditions that alter the body's balance of electrolytes (e.g., potassium and magnesium)
  • Identify other problems like medication overdoses

What to Expect

During an EKG test, a technician applies several small adhesive pads to your legs, arms and chest. These pads are connected to an EKG machine that records electrical activity. The entire procedure takes five to 10 minutes.

Learn more about electrocardiograms at our online Health Library.

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