What is it?

An event recorder is a small device about the size of a deck of cards that is designed to record the heart's rhythm. Event monitoring is very similar to  Holter monitoring  and is often done for the same reasons. However, rather than recording continuously, an event monitor only records a heart rhythm when your child feels symptoms and pushes a button on the event monitor.

Why is it used?

Reveal Loop Recorder

Reveal Loop Recorder

Event monitoring is used to observe the heart's rhythm at specific times. In general, it is used when somebody feels palpitations (fast heart rhythms or skipping beats). The event monitor allows the doctor to see if there is anything unusual about the heart rhythm at the times that your child is feeling those symptoms.

How does it work?

The event monitor may come with a shoulder strap or belt clip so your child can carry it around as they go through a normal day. A few  ECG  wires are attached to the chest with stickers to allow the monitor to read tiny electrical signals from the heart.

When your child feels a symptom, such as chest pain, dizziness or heart palpitations, they or an adult pushes a button on the event monitor recorder. The device records a "snapshot" of your child's heart rhythm for a minute or two. Your child will not feel anything from the device while it's recording.

Later, a doctor can look at the recording to tell if your child is having any kind of arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm).

What happens during the test?

Once it is ordered by the doctor, the event recorder will arrive by mail. It will have instructions on how to attach the leads, but you can call the office to help you with this over the phone.

When your child is feeling any symptoms, they or someone else push the button on the device to record the heart rhythm. Later, you can send the recording to the cardiology office over the telephone. It helps to call first to let the nurses know that you are sending a recording.

The nurses and doctors will look at the recording to see if there is an arrhythmia. They will let you know the results within a day, and sometimes immediately after you call.

How long does it take?

Your child will wear the monitor for up to a month at a time.