An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) records the electrical activity of the heart. It is used to diagnose possible heart problems. It is done on admission to the hospital to provide a baseline. Any further ECG’s are compared to the first one. An ECG records electrical impulses. It does not send any to the patient.
An ECG can be done at a local lab, the Outpatient Lab at VGH, the Leukemia Day Care Outpatient Unit or the Inpatient Unit. During the procedure you will be asked to lie flat and quietly on the bed. Several small, flat discs will be attached to your chest, arms and legs. The wires running from the machine, called leads, are attached to the discs. The electrical activity of your heart is recorded on graph paper. The whole process takes no longer than 5-10 minutes and is painless.