Question: I have heard that an EKG is necessary to diagnose the cause of my palpitations, but how can I get one when I get an attack at home or work?
Answer :Yes an EKG is critical for diagnosing palpitations, but the traditional EKG is done at your doctor's office or in the hospital. Many patients like yourself experience these symptoms of palpitations unpredictably, intermittently, infrequently even, when they're at home or at work or exercising.
In order to obtain a recording of the heart rhythm, basically an EKG, during these time periods, longer-term monitoring can be useful. A 24-hour Holter monitor is a first step. If the arrhythmias are even less frequent, however, an event monitor that can be used for up to usually a 30-day period may be our next step.
And occasionally an implanted monitor may be used to obtain very infrequent symptoms of palpitations or fainting.
These monitors can be implanted for durations from one to several years and provide the diagnosis of palpitations or other symptoms of arrhythmias when they occur relatively infrequently.