What is an Event Monitor?
There are a variety of event monitors available for use for children as well as adults. The newest ones attach to a smart phone (Kardia Mobile by AliveCor) and are widely available for purchase including from the manufacturer https://shop.gb.alivecor.com and from Amazon. They are also given out for temporary use by hospitals. They are simple to use and record an instant ECG. They attach to the back of your smartphone and your child simply has to hold the smartphone in their hands to make it work (see video link below). They have the advantage that they can be kept for longer than a 24-48 hour tape and are useful when symptoms such as palpitations occur infrequently at random times. ECG traces can be stored and sent to your hospital cardiac physiology department via the telephone or e mail. Dr Naqvi will then be able to compare the traces to your child’s symptom diary.
Other types of event monitors (sometimes called a King of Hearts or cardio memo) resemble a battery powered pager and are also used to record an ECG at the times of symptoms. The monitor works by placing two or three electrodes on the chest which are connected to the recorder. When a symptom occurs, either the child or the parent presses a button on the monitor which instantly records the ECG. The reading can then be transmitted to the cardiac physiology department at your hospital via a telephone. You place the telephone on the monitor and simply press the “send” button. Dr Naqvi will then be able to compare the traces to your child’s symptom diary.
For more serious symptoms which have not been successfully detected by other means of testing, an implantable loop recorder can be fitted under the skin with an anaesthetic. This can then record the heart rhythm for a number of years.
Why is an Event Monitor test done?
They are useful for infrequent symptoms especially where there is concern about an underlying heart rhythm problem.
- Do everything you usually do.
- Remember to keep a symptom and activity diary e.g.,2 pm playing football, 4 pm fast heartbeat.