What is a loop recorder?

The loop recorder has been replaced with the latest technology called a continuous EKG monitor.

A continuous EKG monitor is a portable device that can be worn for 14 to 28 days; a patient wears it under their clothing. 

Leads (cables) are placed on the chest and then connected to the monitor. It will record every heartbeat. You will be able to remove the monitor to shower or bathe and re-apply new electrodes yourself. When you return the monitor, a specially-trained therapist will review your results. A heart doctor will then look over the results and dictate a report.

We will send a diary home with you so you can record certain events. For example, we like to know what medications you are taking and when you take them. We would also like you to document any unusual symptoms like chest pain, palpitations or other symptoms for which the test is being ordered. This is a non-invasive and very reliable test. 

What is it used for?

The majority of people seen for monitoring are sent because they sense an irregular heartbeat or have a history of stroke or stroke-like symptoms. Some people will use the term palpitations, skips, or say they feel their heart jumping.

Because of the fleeting nature of certain arrhythmia's, a continuous EKG monitor which records your EKG continuously is the best solution.

We also hook-up these monitors on people that complain of dizziness, passing out, lightheadedness, chest pain and weakness.

How do I prepare for this test?

It is recommended that you do not apply creams, oils or powders to your chest on the day of the test. This could interfere with the therapist's ability to apply the electrodes. Please wear loose, comfortable clothes with a top and bottom. Do NOT wear a dress, girdle or corset.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment so you can be registered. Always bring your health card to any medical appointment.

How do I return the continuous EKG monitor?

The therapist who hooks the monitor on you will explain how to remove the unit and when to return it. It is very important to return the monitor on time as we have other patients waiting to use it.

How long will this test take?

It will take approximately 30 minutes to hook the monitor on. Once this is done you will wear the monitor for 14 to 28 days, depending on what the doctor has ordered.

What should I do once the monitor is on and I go home?

We normally like you to continue with your everyday activities.

You will be able to remove the monitor to shower or bathe and re-apply new electrodes yourself

Remember this is a sensitive recording device with a replacement cost of approximately $2,500. You are the best judge of what you can or cannot do while wearing the device.

What happens if a wire comes off?

Although this very rarely happens, there is a simple solution; just snap the wire back on to the electrode that is missing a wire.

You will be given a diagram and instructions on how to change the electrodes and where they go.

If you cannot do this, call 519-749-4235 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Why should I have my continuous EKG monitor  at Grand River Hospital?

There are many reasons why, but the important ones are:

  • Local heart doctors will be interpreting your results;
  • All monies received for this test are kept in the community;
  • Specially trained therapists will be scanning your results, not just a computer;
  • We have over 20 years of experience; and
  • If we are particularly worried about what we find, your doctor and/or one of our local heart doctors will be called to review our finding right away.
How fast will the results be reviewed?

Within 48 hours of returning the monitor, one of our specially-trained therapists will review your results and then a heart doctor will dictate on them.