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This content is taken from the University of Reading's online course, Heart Health: A Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds This film will show you what to expect if you are having an electrocardiogram, often called an ECG. My name is Manzoor Sheikh. I live in Tooting. My age is 50 years. Two weeks ago, I had pain on my chest and my oncologist suggest me you go for a ECG, because I have history of high press cholesterol. My name is Tracy Carney. I’m a cardiographer. And I work at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting. I’m not nervous, because I’m very comfortable now. But I know if I have any kind of heart problems, so I need to know before I have any trouble. An ECG takes a trace of the rhythm and the rate of a patient’s heart beats.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds The ECG is pain free, and it takes approximately five minutes. We then ask them to take of the top half of their clothes, and then lay on the couch. They’re nice and relaxed. When the patient is on the couch, we attach the electrodes to the chest area, ankles, and the wrists. Then we attach the ECG leads to the electrodes. It is very important the patient lies still whilst doing the ECG so we can get an accurate recording. OK, that’s your ECG all done. And I’ll give you an ECG so you can take back for your doctor. Yeah, it is a comfortable test. No problem, any– no problem. And she done everything very brightly, and very nicely.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds Heart disease is still the single biggest killer in the UK. But for over 50 years, we’ve tirelessly pioneered research that has helped transform the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Join our fight for every heartbeat in the UK. Every pound raised, every minute of your time, and every donation to our shops will help make a difference.

Your guide to ECG

Do you have an ECG coming up? Watch this video to find out what to expect.

You can find out more about ECG in Dr Sam Boateng’s video on Heart function in Week 1. Alternatively, if you’d like to investigate how an ECG can be used to detect abnormal heart rhythms, a major cause of sudden cardiac arrests, go to his video on Arrythmias shown earlier this week.

Reproduced with kind permission of the British Heart Foundation.

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This video is from the free online course:

Heart Health: A Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease

University of Reading