An electrocardiogram (also known as ECG or EKG) is a painless, noninvasive way to measures the electrical activity of the heart. By positioning leads (electrical sensing devices) on the body in standardized locations it can help detect certain abnormal heart rhythms and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
How to prepare for an EKG
- Do not wear oily or greasy skin creams and lotions because they can prevent the electrode from making skin contact.
- Do not wear full-length stockings because electrodes need to be placed directly on the legs.
- Wear a shirt that can be easily removed.
What happens during an EKG?
While lying flat, a technician attaches 10 electrodes with adhesive pads to your chest, arms and legs to record your heart’s electrical activity. If you have hair on those body parts, the technician may shave those areas so the pads stick. These electrodes are attached to electrical leads (wires), which are then attached to the EKG machine. It takes about 10 minutes to attach the electrodes and complete the test, but the actual recording takes a few seconds.
Parents are allowed to stay with the child at all times.
Your EKG tests will remain on file so your doctor can compare them to future tests.
The free EKG program at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is currently paused because of COVID-19 until further notice.
EKG for Sport Evaluation
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital offers a free EKG screening for sports evaluations. Requirements:
- Please make sure your child's prescription specifies the EKG is for a sports evaluation.
- A parent or guardian will need to be present to sign consent for the test.