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What can an EKG Detect?

At Coastal Urgent Care of Ruston, we recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy heart. Because of this, we proudly offer EKGs 7 days a week. These diagnostic, noninvasive tests are a fast and painless way to check on the health of your heart, especially if you are experiencing a change in your wellbeing.

If you have chest pain, a fast heartbeat, or difficulty catching your breath, an EKG is the best test to check if what you’re experiencing is heart related. Don’t delay treatment; visit us today for evaluation and diagnosis. The health of your heart is of the utmost importance.

An electrocardiogram, or EKG for short, is a simple procedure that checks the overall health of your heart.

Each time your heart beats, it lets off an electrical signal that can be measured via EKG. The review of this electrical signal allows us to determine if your heart is beating at an average rate, strength and rhythm. Any irregular readings can lead to further testing and diagnosis.

An EKG also shows the size and position of your heart’s chambers.

What Can an EKG Detect?

During the test, EKG readings are printed out for review by the provider, who will check for any indication of:

  • A rapid or slow heart rate
  • Inadequate blood supply to the heart
  • Signs of a past or present heart attack
  • A bulge in the walls of the heart
  • Thickening of the heart
  • Enlarged heart size

Although these signs don’t always lead to a serious diagnosis, they act as a baseline to monitor the health of your heart. 

Often, these symptoms can lead to the following heart-related diagnoses:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack

When do I need an EKG?

EKGs are performed for various reasons, including the onset of symptoms such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Arrhythmia

You may also require an EKG, in a nonurgent manner, if you:

  • Have a history of heart attack or other heart-related conditions
  • Have a pacemaker
  • Have a family history of heart-related health problems
  • Are taking certain heart medications
  • Need to check your heart health, at a provider’s request, before surgery

What is the procedure like?

An EKG is usually performed at your doctor’s office, emergency room or local urgent care center.

During the procedure, you lie on a standard exam table. Small sensors, or electrodes, are attached to specific areas of your body, including the chest, back, arms and legs. The electrodes are connected to the skin by a sticky pad.

Once all pads have adhered, they are connected to electrical wires that transmit your heart readings to a monitor for review.

Results are printed out and reviewed during your appointment.

How long does an EKG test last?

Set up for an EKG is fast and painless. The actual testing time varies by person but is usually no more than 10 minutes.

Do I have to schedule an EKG ahead of time?

No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are always welcome. Our experienced team is available 7 days a week to provide heart-related screenings, including an EKG for fast, painless diagnosis and treatment. Don’t delay, especially if you are experiencing chest pain or other symptoms. Visit Coastal Urgent Care of Ruston today.