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Holter and event monitoring are painless ways to record your heartbeat away from the doctor's office. Each one is a small electrocardiogram (ECG) that you carry with you. They record your heartbeat for your doctor to review at a later time. The Holter records heartbeat nonstop for at least 24 hours. The event monitor lets you record your irregular heartbeat as you feel it. You simply press a button. You carry this monitor for at least 30 days.

When you receive a Holter monitor, small, painless pads (electrodes) are put on you chest. These connect to the lightweight unit, which attaches to a belt. You need to keep the device for at least 24 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.
  • If an electrode falls off or the unit makes a noise, call to see what you should do.

After you are shown how to use your event monitor, carry it with you all the time. When you feel a symptom, activate the monitor by pressing a button (wristwatch style) or holding it to your chest (small box or credit card style). Be sure to keep a diary. In the diary:

  • Write the date and time for each entry you make.
  • Note any symptoms you feel and what you are doing at that time.
  • Note when you take your medicine.