An EKG, or electrocardiogram, is a medical test that measures the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time. The test is commonly referred to as an ECG as well, with both terms being used interchangeably.

Here’s an overview of what an EKG entails:

Electrical Activity of the Heart: The heart generates electrical signals that coordinate the contraction of its different chambers, allowing blood to be pumped throughout the body. An EKG records these electrical signals, providing a visual representation of the heart’s activity.

Electrodes: Small adhesive electrodes are placed on specific locations on the skin, typically on the chest, arms, and legs. These electrodes detect the electrical signals produced by the heart.

Recording: The EKG machine records the electrical impulses as waveforms on a strip of paper or electronically on a computer. Each waveform corresponds to a different phase of the heart’s activity, such as depolarization and repolarization of the atria and ventricles.

Interpretation: A healthcare professional, often a cardiologist or other trained medical personnel, interprets the recorded EKG patterns. The analysis provides information about the heart’s rhythm, rate, and any potential abnormalities.

Diagnostic Tool: EKGs are commonly used for diagnostic purposes, helping healthcare providers assess various heart conditions, including arrhythmias, heart attacks, and abnormalities in the heart’s structure. It can also be used for routine check-ups or as part of pre-surgical assessments.

Non-Invasive: EKG is a non-invasive and quick procedure, and it is widely used due to its effectiveness in providing valuable information about cardiac health.


Overall, an EKG is a valuable tool in cardiovascular medicine, aiding in the diagnosis and monitoring of various heart-related conditions. It is often part of a comprehensive cardiac evaluation and is especially useful in emergencies or situations where rapid assessment of heart function is needed.

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