What is a Holter Monitor and what does it do?
A Holter monitor is a battery-operated portable device that measures and tape records your heart’s activity (ECG) continuously for 24 to 48 hours or longer (30 days) depending on the monitor used. The device is the size of a small camera. It has wires with silver dollar-sized electrodes that attach to your skin.
Who performs the test?
The test is performed by a licensed Respiratory Therapist.
Where does it take place?
At Jackson Hospital in the Respiratory Department.
How long does it take?
24 Hour Holter Monitor-Cardiac monitor is worn for 24 hours and turned back in to the respiratory department.
48 Hour Holter Monitor-Cardiac Monitor worn for 48 hours. You will have to come back to the respiratory department after 24 hours to have the flash card changed.
30 Day Event Monitor-Cardiac monitor worn for 30 days. This monitor will need to be removed for baths or showers each time and replaced after. The patient will activate the recording when they feel a symptom.
What can I do to make it a success?
Please be sure to bring your doctor’s orders with you the day of your test. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to register.
What should I do before the exam?
There are no special dietary restrictions for this study. Please do not wear lotions or oils on the skin in the chest area.
What happens during the exam?
- A specially trained technician will attach the Holter monitor and instruct you how to record your symptoms while wearing it.
- The technician first attaches the electrodes to your chest. If you have a hairy chest, he or she may shave some hair off to attach the electrodes firmly.
- Once the electrodes are in place, the technician helps you put the Holter monitor on and explains how to take care of it. If you are having a 30 day event monitor, you will be asked to watch a short (5-8 minute) instructional video.
- You can carry the monitor in a pocket or pouch, slung across your shoulders and neck like a purse or camera, or attach it to your waist.
- Do your usual activities while you wear the monitor with these exceptions:
- Don’t bathe, shower or swim while wearing the monitor.
- Stay away from high-voltage areas, metal detectors or large magnets.
- The technician will show you how to keep a diary of your activities and symptoms during the test. It’s important to keep an accurate diary. If you feel symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats or dizziness, note in your diary the time of day they began and what you were doing. Your diary will be compared to the changes in your ECG recorded by the Holter monitor.
What should I do after the exam?
- 24 Hour Holter Monitor-You will need to come back to the respiratory department the following day around the same time it was placed on to have it removed.
- 48 Hour Holter Monitor-You will have to come back to the respiratory department after 24 hours to have the flash card changed. The next, following the card change, you will need to come back to the respiratory department around the same time it was placed on to have it removed.
- 30 Day Event Monitor-The technician will give you a date to return to the respiratory department to have the even monitor removed.
- You may resume normal activity after your study. Your test will be reviewed and interpreted by a physician. Your physician should have the results of your study in 24-48 hours.
Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200
Respiratory Department (850) 718-2545