A holter monitor is sort of a miniaturized EKG machine. So we have all been in the doctor’s office where they hook up all of these electrodes and they print out an EKG for us and then they make certain conclusions based upon that. The intrinsic limitation of an EKG is that it’s just one point in time. So the idea behind a Holter monitor is to miniaturize all of that, make it portable so that the heart can be monitored over a 24 hour period, a 48 hour period and there are even holters now that are five or seven day long.
So using holter monitoring to identify dangerous arrythmia is only useful if the arrythmia occurs during the recording, so for example if a patient is having a blackout once every month there is absolutely no point in doing a 24-hour ECG because the chances of them recording an ECG during that event is minimal the other problem is that many normal people have lots of changes in heart rhythm and heart rate, so it’s very common that we see young people when they are asleep in bed get intermittent second-degree or complete heart block or a drop P waves or bradycardia, but in the absence of symptoms that’s of no significance at all, so it’s the link of the holter monitor to the symptoms that’s important and that’s what determines what type of monitoring that person needs.
All holter monitors have three leads connected to the chest to continuously the electrical activities of the heart over 24-hour it is intended to try to diagnose the source of somebody who’s frequently complaining of palpitations or where doctors suspect there is a cardiac arrythmia. A lot patients have symptoms related to their heart rate or their heart rhythm sometimes it’s palpitations sometimes it’s lightheadedness or even passing out and so doctors need to try to capture those so they know exactly what’s going on.
An electrocardiogram or ECG only looks at about 6 seconds of heart rhythms so that’s not usually adequate all by itself but if we have somebody wear a holter monitor and we can capture when those episodes happen so that we know exactly what happened we get to see what the patients heartrate is all through the day and through the night when they are sleeping and then when they tell the doctor they had palpitations or they have felt lightheaded doctors using holters can tell exactly what happened at that time. Holter monitors are very helpful for cardiologists when they are dealing with the patients.
Sometimes palpitations are simple normal extra heartbeats that everyone and doctors can reassure the patients that they saw no concerns, but as it was earlier pointed out sometimes holter monitors help doctors to determine that somebody needs a pacemaker or other things such as medications to help slow the heart rate down prevent bad rhythms from happening or tells doctors that they need to send them to places like Newmarket where they can do procedures inside the heart called ablation to help get rid of bad rhythms. Holter monitors are very simple they take no radiation it’s a quick hookup and patients can wear them from anywhere from one day up to 14 days and anything in between so depending how frequently their symptoms are doctors can capture most episodes which are a great way for doctors to help confirm what’s happening electrically with someone’s heart.
One of the most commonly used holter monitoring systems is GE Healthcare SEER 1000 holter monitors.
The human heart beats around 100,000 times per day during a holter study doctor’s job is to get accurate data every single beat. Quick and accurate holter scan begins with quality patient hookup GE Healthcare’s Seer 1000 recorder and custom app offer unique solution to aid in the holter hookup process a solution that helps capture data with consistency, accuracy and confidence. The app is designed for use with devices you are familiar with like the iPad, iPhone and Bluetooth enabled PCs giving you the option to use conventional keypads instead of small scrolling buttons. With security in mind the SEER 1000 was developed so only those with administrator setup accounts can login using their unique user ID and password. It all begins with entering accurate patient demographics.
Patient data can be entered into the app on the fly or select from your patient list prior to the patient visit. This will allow more time to focus on the patient during the appointment. Each holter monitor and patient table is easily identifiable through unique serial number that’s visible both on the product and the SEER 1000 app. Visual guidance is offered for lead placement and signal quality, where each lead can be clearly seen scrolling across the screen. If poor signal quality is detected from the holter monitor, the app will help you identify the affected electrode and channel so you can fix the problem before the patient walks out the door.
The holter monitor app can also be used as a patient education and engagement tool, show the patient the important data you will be capturing during the test to help improve patient compliance and satisfaction. When ready to begin the study simply set the desired duration and start the recording and perhaps best of all the SEER 1000 holter monitoring systems are simple for the patient to use, only one button to press during an event. Fewer destructions make it easy for your patient to get you the best possible data. Quality holter monitoring data starts with an accurate hookup because when it comes to your patients every beat counts.