What is a Cardiac Event Recorder?
A cardiac event recorder is a small device that you can wear for purposes of recording your heart’s electrocardiogram activity. Additionally, doctors may require patients who have experienced arrhythmia in the recent past to wear this device. The data recorded by this device enables physicians to diagnose conditions such as cardiac arrhythmia. Below is some more information about this topic.
Why You Would Have To Wear A Cardiac Event Recorder?
Traditionally, doctors have relied on EKG machines to diagnose and evaluate cardiac events. However, EKG machines may or may not record arrhythmic events. In addition, Holter monitors, usually worn by patients for up to 48 hours, could also miss infrequent arrhythmic events. This is where a cardiac event recorder comes in handy. If you develop symptoms consistent with cardiac arrhythmia, your doctor would require you to wear a cardiac event recorder for up to 30 days. Your electrocardiogram data would enable your doctor to determine the cause of abnormal heart rhythms and advice on the right medical intervention.
Types of Cardiac Event Recorders
There are two types of cardiac event recorders: looping memory monitors and symptom event monitors. Think of a looping memory monitor as a pre-symptom cardiac event recorder. As such, it records EKG rhythms before and during a cardiac event. However, the wearer of a looping memory monitor must activate it to start recording his/her ECG data. On the other hand, a symptom event monitor records post-symptom ECG data. Once again, it is the duty of the wearer to activate this device to start recording ECG activity. For instance, pushing the record button and placing device on your chest the moment you start experiencing irregular heartbeats.
Besides patient-triggered cardiac event monitors, there are others with the capability to record ECG activity automatically. This happens after the device detects arrhythmic activity related to events such as atrial fibrillation.
Cardiac Event Recorder Data Transmission
Cardiac event recorders allow wearers to transmit data to their physicians over standard phone lines. In most cases, one simply places the microphone of a cardiac event recorder over the mouthpiece of a telephone. However, data transmission protocols vary depending on the type of ECG recorder and technology used. Physicians usually show their patients how to transmit ECG data before they leave hospital.
Attaching A Cardiac Event Recorder To Your Body
Some cardiac event recorders come with electrodes that patients attach to their chests. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), electrodes extending from these devices should only be attached to skin free of oil or creams. If skin is not oil/cream free, the rule of thumb is to clean it with alcohol. Alternatively, rub skin surface with gauze until it is pink.
A cardiac event recorder is a portable devices used to record EKG data over periods of up to 30 days. This device can record data that would not register on an EKG machine, allowing a doctor to make the right diagnosis, prescribe the right medication, or advice a patient to undergo an interventional medical procedure.