A loop recorder constantly records your heart rhythm and an event monitor is a small device used only when symptoms occur. The event monitor records your heart rate and rhythm during a symptom (“event”).
Abnormal heart rhythm and cardiac symptoms can be intermittent and not always obvious. Your doctor may recommend an event monitor when symptoms are infrequent or occurring less than daily. It may also be recommended if you have a fast, slow or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
What does a monitor help to identify:
- If your medicines are working.
- If a pacemaker or an Implantable Cardioverter Defbrilator (ICD) is working properly.
- Why you have symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, faintness or the feeling that your heart is racing or skipping a beat.
- If your heart is getting enough oxygen to meet its needs.
Loop recorders: A loop recorder constantly records your heart rhythm. When you experience symptoms of an irregular heart rhythm, you press a button located on the monitor to record the event.
Event monitors: This device is used only when symptoms occur. When symptoms occur, you activate the recorder with just the push of a button and the monitor records the event for the 60 seconds prior to your pushing the button and up to 40 seconds. The event monitor can store up a number of events.
You will be shown how to use and manage your recorder in the cardiology department.
Following the procedure:
The rhythm recordings can be sent immediately or saved and transmitted later, over telephone to the cardiology team at the hospital.
The ECG tracings of your heart rhythm will be be reviewed by the cardiology team and you will be informed whether further tests or admission to hospital is required.