An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a noninvasive, painless medical examination records the electrical activity of the heart to help doctors evaluate the heart’s health. It can tell how fast the heart is beating, how steady the heartbeat is, and the strength and timing of electrical signals as they travel thorough each part of the heart. The heart’s electrical activity sets the heartbeat rhythm. A doctor may schedule an EKG if the patient has such symptoms as chest pain, the patient’s feeling that the heartbeat is not normal, problems breathing, tiredness and weakness, and abnormal heart sounds. EKGs also can help the doctor plan for treatment of a heart condition or to check the effectiveness of a pacemaker, medicine, or other heart therapy. The electrical activity usually is recorded from 12 different places on the body at the same time. Patients lie on their back for the 10-minute test while an EKG technician or nurse applies small, adhesive patches (electrodes)  to the skin (sometimes shaving the spots is necessary). Wires from the EKG machine are attached to the electrodes and the test begins. The electrical activity is picked up by the electrodes and is displayed on a paper graph or a computer monitor.

At UAB, you will receive expert, personalized primary cardiology services from our General Cardiology clinics both on campus and at our suburban center at Acton Road just off I-459. Specialists from UAB’s world-renowned team of cardiologists offer you the best evidence-based care for coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, rhythm disturbances, diseased valves, and other heart and vessel conditions. And when you visit our clinics, you can expect friendly, personalized care backed by UAB’s sophisticated facilities and equipment.

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