Patient Information Leaflet

24-hour ECG (Holter monitoring)

What is a 24-hour ECG and how is it fitted?

A 24-hour ECG records your heart rhythm over 24 hours. The monitor is about the size of a mobile phone. You wear the monitor around your waist, clipped into a belt or waistband. We attach five electrodes (small sticky patches) to your chest. Small leads from the monitor are then attached to these electrodes. It takes about 20 minutes to fit the electrodes and monitor. You do not need to stay in hospital, and you can carry on your normal daily activities during the test. This test is painless.

Why do I need a 24-hour ECG?

You may have experienced symptoms such as palpitations (the feeling of strong or fast heart beats), dizziness, chest pain or shortness of breath. A routine ECG has not shown up any problems, so to get a better picture we would like to monitor your heart over a 24-hour period to get a better picture.

What should I do while I am wearing the monitor?

You should continue with your normal daily activities, including sport. Please do not remove or adjust the monitor over the 24-hour period without speaking to us first. You should wear the monitor day and night. An appointment will be made for you to have the monitor removed 24-hours later.

Some electrical items may interfere with the monitor, so please do not:

  • Stand in front of a microwave that is being used
  • Sleep with an electric blanket that is switched on

You can use your mobile phone as normal.

What should I do after the test?

Please remember to return the monitor to us on time. It is your responsibility to return the monitor to DHC Outpatients at Dorking Hospital.

If you don’t bring the monitor back at the agreed time, we may have to cancel appointments for other patients.

Please do not return your monitor by post.

What happens after I have returned the monitor?

Once you have returned the monitor, your medical team will look at the results. If necessary, they will contact you to arrange a follow-up appointment to discuss your treatment.

Patient Symptom Diary

We will give you a diary sheet so you can note down any symptoms you experience while you have the monitor on.
Please note down the time of day the symptom occurred, what it was you felt, and what you were doing when it came on.

Preparation for the monitor

If you have chest hair, this will need to be removed before the electrodes can be attached. This is because there needs to be a close skin contact.

Please remove any chest hair prior to your appointment, in accordance with the electrode placements as shown below (the lowest right & left electrodes will be on the sides of your torso, under each arm) see diagram below.

Special requirements

All of our patient leaflets are available in large print formats.

If you require additional help or have other accessibility needs, please contact us on 01306 735459