EKG Test Questions and Answers
An EKG test can determine the different aspects of your heart health. At Urgent Medical Care, we care about your health, which is why we offer EKG tests. Our doctors are trained to help you with all your healthcare needs. Call us for more information or schedule an appointment online! We have convenient locations to serve in Plymouth MI, Bloomfield Hills MI, and surrounding areas!
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The heart is one of the body’s most important organs and provides oxygenated blood through the entire body, from the face to the feet and the hands to the hips. There are several characteristics of the heart and its functions, including heartbeat, heart rate and rhythm. Electrocardiography, or EKG, is a diagnostic tool that can determine the health of several different aspects of the heart, including rate and rhythm, and has helped in millions of diagnoses since its inception in the late 1800s.
An EKG test can detect the following:
• Arrhythmia — Problems with the rhythm of the heartbeat are known as arrhythmia. The heart should beat steadily. However, when a person’s electrical heartbeat impulses fail to fire properly, then the heart may beat too quickly (tachycardia), too slowly (bradycardia), or at irregular intervals (arrhythmia).
• Heart Attack — A heart attack can occur when blood flow to the heart is suddenly blocked, which is normally the result of a gradual accumulation of veinal or arterial blockages. Although this happens suddenly, the buildup that caused the blockage—a combination of plaque-building materials such as cholesterol and fat—have gathered over time. An EKG can detect whether a person previously had a heart attack or if they will likely have one in the future.
• Coronary Artery Disease — Also called atherosclerotic heart disease, coronary artery disease interferes with how the blood flows and can cause restrictions in the circulation.
• Ischemia — Due to blockages or constrictions in the coronary blood vessels, the heart can experience ischemia, a dangerous state in which the cardiac tissue is not receiving enough oxygenated blood.
• Enlarged Heart — A healthy heart is about the size of a person’s fist, although there are some medical conditions that can cause an abnormally enlarged heart, also known as cardiomegaly. Causes include heart failure, untreated high blood pressure, advanced age and viral infections of the cardiac muscle. On an EKG, an enlarged heart often shows up as abnormally large waveforms, which can indicate a serious underlying condition.
Both EKG and ECG refer to electrocardiography, which is the reading and measurement of the health of a heart that is displayed via an electrocardiogram from an electrocardiograph machine. It is easy to see how ECG stands for electrocardiography, as it comprises the first letter of its three derivative words ‘electro,’ ‘cardio,’ and ‘graphy.’ So where does the K come into the equation, and why is it the more common abbreviation? The EKG was developed by a Dutch doctor, and electrocardiograph in Dutch is ‘elektrocardiografie,’ which is why it is commonly abbreviated as EKG instead of ECG.
The three main reasons to get an EKG include to detect the heart’s rhythm, its rate, and its blood flow.
These specialized heart monitors can identify an unusually fast heart rate (tachycardia) or an unusually slow heart rate (bradycardia). They can also reveal heart rhythm irregularities (arrhythmias) which may occur when any part of the heart’s electrical system is dysfunctioning. In addition, EKGs can detect poor blood flow to the heart, which is a condition known as ischemia.
An EKG test is fairly accurate in the diagnosis of certain heart conditions, such as a myocardial infarction (heart attack). However, given more sensitive technologies, such as cardiac biomarker testing, it is primarily used as a precursor to other tests and is essential in the early detection and diagnostic process.
At Urgent Medical Care, we care about your health, which is why we offer EKG tests. We have two locations to better serve you: in Plymouth, MI, and in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Plymouth residents can visit our clinic conveniently located at 41424 Ann Arbor Road, Plymouth, MI 48170; and Bloomfield Hills residents can visit our clinic conveniently located at 43141 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Plymouth MI, Bloomfield MI, Livonia MI, Novi MI, Worden MI, Canton MI, Southfield MI, Troy MI, and Farmington Hills.
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