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How does a Holter monitor work?

What does it do? They want to hook me up to one. Why?
A Holter monitor is a portable device that doctors may prescribe to help gather more information about the electrical activity of a patient's heart. The monitor itself is comprised of several leads (stickers) that are attached to different parts of the chest wall. These leads are connected by wires to a device typically worn around the waist, which contains the ability to continuously record the information picked up by the leads. The monitor itself is completely painless and is generally worn for 1-2 days. After the study period is over, the device is analyzed and reviewed by your doctor. The device records the type of heart rhythm you are experiencing at all times, and also gives statistics on the average heart rate and ranges of heart rate that you experience. The device is often used to help make a diagnosis in patients that may complain of symptoms suggestive of an underlying irregular heart rate, such as palpitations or a fluttering sensation in the chest.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.

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