What to Expect
What is an event monitor?
An event monitor is a noninvasive test.
The 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. It is often done for the same reasons: to track symptoms such as fast heart rhythms, dizziness and chest pain. 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 an event monitor used?
Event monitoring is used to observe the heart’s rhythm at specific times. In general, it is used when somebody feels fast heart rhythms or skipping beats (palpitations). The event monitor allows the doctor to see if there is anything unusual about the heart rhythm when your child feels those symptoms.
How does an event monitor work?
There are 2 types of event monitors. The difference is whether or not your child wears electrocardiogram (ECG) wires.
- Looping event monitor: 2 ECG wires are attached to the chest with stickers to allow the monitor to read tiny electrical signals from the heart.
- Nonlooping event monitor: Does not use ECG wires or stickers.
Your child’s heart doctor (cardiologist) will order the best type for your child based on factors such as age and how long your child’s symptoms usually last.
The event recorder will either be given to you at your visit or it will be mailed to you. The monitor comes from an outside company and will have instructions on how to use it. If you have questions, you can call the company’s 800 number or the Heart Center office (206-987-2015) for help over the phone.
The event monitor comes with a shoulder strap or belt clip so your child can carry it around as they go through a normal day.
When your child feels a symptom, such as chest pain, dizziness or heart palpitations, they record it by pushing a button on the event monitor recorder. The device records a “snapshot” of your child’s heart rhythm for a minute or 2. Your child will not feel anything from the device while it’s recording.
Later, you can send the recording to the company over the telephone. Since the device is monitored by an outside company, please call the Heart Center office and let the nurses know that you have sent a recording.
Later, a doctor will look at the recording to see if your child is having any kind of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). If there is an abnormal heart rhythm, we will let you know the results within a day, and sometimes immediately after you call the Heart Center office.
How long does it take?
Your child will wear the monitor for up to a month at a time. Each month requires the doctor to place a new order, so please contact the Heart Center office (206-987-2015) if you would like to continue the test.
Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.