EKG Services Questions and Answers
We offer EKG services at PACS Urgent Care. If you would like to know more about the EKG services we offer, call us today! We have convenient locations to serve you in Ruther Glen VA, and Alexandria VA.
Table of Contents:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around 805,000 Americans have a heart attack every year – or one every 40 seconds. That’s a lot of people who will experience the alarming symptoms of chest pain, trouble breathing, and dizziness associated with a coronary event. In addition to this, it is also possible to have a ‘silent heart attack’ which has few symptoms, if any, and can be mistaken for indigestion or a strained chest muscle.
The most common diagnostic test used in the detection of heart related issues is the electrocardiogram (also called an ECG or EKG), a painless test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat and is able to quickly detect heart problems. It is the only way to tell if someone has had a silent heart attack, but unfortunately cannot predict if another one may occur. EKGs are usually performed in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital room with electrocardiogram machines becoming standard equipment in operating rooms and emergency response vehicles. There is no pain or risk associated with having an electrocardiogram, except maybe some minor discomfort when the stickers are removed.
An EKG is able to provide the doctor with information on the electrical activity of the heart by showing whether the heartbeat is normal or slow, fast or irregular, and if parts of the heart have become enlarged or being overworked. It is a painless, non-invasive method of diagnosing many common heart problems in people of all ages and can be used to detect:
• An abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia): caused when the heart’s electrical impulses are too fast, too slow, or are erratic – causing the heart to beat irregularly. This can result in the heart not pumping blood effectively and causing damage to the lungs, brain and other organs due to an inadequate oxygen supply.
• If coronary artery disease is the cause of chest pain or a heart attack. Coronary artery disease is caused by a buildup of plaque (cholesterol deposits) in the wall of the coronary arteries (the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart).
• Whether someone has had a previous heart attack. An EKG can potentially reveal heart damage caused by a lack of oxygen from a previous heart attack.
There is no difference, both abbreviations refer to an electrocardiogram. EKG is the abbreviation for the German spelling of the word electrocardiography.
The three main reasons for getting an EKG are:
• To identify the cause of chest pain.
• To evaluate problems which may be heart-related, such as severe tiredness or fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting.
• To identify irregular heartbeats.
Other reasons why a doctor may want to perform an EKG are:
• To check the overall health of the heart:
after treatment for conditions such as a heart attack or endocarditis (inflammation or infection of one or more of the heart valves);
after heart surgery
• To check on a pacemaker
• To determine how well certain heart medication is working
The American Heart Association doesn’t recommend using electrocardiograms to assess low risk, asymptomatic adults, but if you have a family history of heart disease it may be recommended that you have an EKG as a screening test, even if you have no symptoms.
Here at PACS (Premier Acute Care Services) in Alexandria, VA we offer EKGs to help accurately diagnose heart problems so that you can be given the medical treatment you need in a timely manner. For more information, call us or visit us today. We serve patients from Alexandria VA, Ruther Glen VA, Bagdad VA, Athens VA, Balty VA, and Doswell VA.
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