he EKG can provide important information about the patient's heart rhythm, a previous heart attack, increased thickness of heart muscle, signs of decreased oxygen delivery to the heart, and problems with conduction of the electrical current from one portion of the heart to another.
An electrocardiogram – abbreviated as EKG or ECG – is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat. With each beat, an electrical impulse (or “wave”) travels through the heart.
This wave causes the muscle to squeeze and pump blood from the heart.
Why is it done?
An ECG gives two major kinds of information. First, by measuring time intervals on the ECG, a doctor can determine how long the electrical wave takes to pass through the heart. Finding out how long a wave takes to travel from one part of the heart to the next shows if the electrical activity is normal or slow, fast or irregular. Second, by measuring the amount of electrical activity passing through the heart muscle, a pediatric cardiologist may be able to find out if parts of the heart are too large or are overworked.
Does it hurt?
No. There’s no pain or risk associated with having an electrocardiogram. When the ECG stickers are removed, there may be some minor discomfort.
Is it harmful?
No. The machine only records the ECG. It doesn’t send electricity into the body.