What is Holter Monitoring?
Holter monitoring is a painless way to record your heartbeat away from your doctor's office. It is a small, battery-operated electrocardiogram (ECG) machine that you carry with you. The device is about the size of a small, digital camera. Holter monitoring records your heartbeat for your doctor to review at a later time. You can receive your heart monitor in a hospital, test center, or doctor's office.
Your Holter monitor
When you receive a Holter monitor, your health care provider places small, painless pads (electrodes) on your chest. These connect to the lightweight unit, which attaches to a belt or shoulder strap. You need to keep the device on for at least 24 to 48 hours hours and complete a diary. While wearing the monitor, follow these tips:
- Try to sleep on your back.
- Don't take a shower. A sponge bath is OK.
- Follow your normal routine. Don't avoid stress, work, or exercise. It is important to record your heartbeat during your normal activities.
- If an electrode falls off or the unit makes noise, call your doctor to see what you should do.
When using a Holter monitor
Stay away from electric blankets, magnets, metal detectors, and high-voltage areas such as power lines. They may affect the recording.
Holter monitor diary
- Write in the time of day for each entry you make.
- Note each change in activity, including when you take medicine.
- Note any symptoms you feel.