What is a 24 hour ECG ?

A 24 hour ECG is used to evaluate heart rhythm for a prolonged period. In some cases the recording may be used for 48 hours or even 7 days particularly if symptoms of palpitations do not occur daily. Several electrodes are placed on the chest with stickers. A vest may also be helpful to prevent them falling off. The 24 hour ECG monitor, resembles a portable CD player, is stored in a comfortable belt and worn at the waist virtually undetectable under regular clothing. Your child should perform normal day-to-day activities especially those which tend to trigger symptoms eg. running. You and your child will be asked to record a diary of symptoms and activities with times.

Why is a 24 hour ECG test done?

It gives information about how the heart rhythm for longer than an instant ECG.

What happens during the test?

The child needs to wear ECG stickers and the monitor for a day and night. It should not be taken into water (no swimming or showering with the monitor).

How long does it take?

It takes about 5 minutes to be fitted. It is worn for 24 hours and then returned to the hospital which fitted it.

Does it hurt?

  • No. The test is painless but some children dislike having the stickers taken off.
24 hour ECG recorder

DR NAQVI’S TOP TIPS for having a 24 hour tape

  • Do everything you usually do except trampolining (may cause artefact on the trace), and avoid getting the monitor wet so no swimming, bathing and showering for 24 hours.
  • Remember to keep a diary.
  • Avoid spending all the day resting as this will not give a true reflection of your usual activities.