Having an ECG but not sure what it is?

25 October 2022

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple test used to check your heart's rhythm and electrical activity. Sensors attached to the skin detect the electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats. An ECG is a quick, safe and painless test.

There is no test preparation required for an ECG, but we do recommend you:

  • Wear a two-piece outfit i.e. a shirt or top with pants, skirt or shorts. Avoid dresses.
  • Wear bottoms that roll down easily – sticky dots will be placed near each of your hip bones.
  • Wear a sports type bra with no underwire – underwire bras can affect the ECG reading.
  • Excess chest hair may need to be clipped or shaved.

The test will take about 10-20 minutes. You will be given a gown or blanket to cover up, but you may also decide to bring a support person or chaperone to the appointment for your comfort.

The ECG procedure:

  • You will be asked to remove your shirt/top and your bra if it has an underwire, as well as any electronic devices, heavy jewellery, watches, etc.
  • Sticky dots will be placed on your shoulders, hips and chest. Leads are then attached which are connected to the ECG machine.
  • During the procedure you need to keep still and quiet for a few minutes.

Once the test is complete, the leads and sticky dots are removed, and you can get dressed.

Your ECG recording will be sent electronically to your requesting doctor.

SA Pathology provides non-urgent ECG screening at selected collection centres across metropolitan Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills and south coast. 

For more information, or to book an appointment, please call us on 8222 3000.

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