Munson Health

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by Scholten A



Reasons for Test

An EKG is used to:
  • Diagnose heart attacks and rhythm problems
  • Offer clues about other heart conditions and conditions not primarily related to the heart
  • Detect conditions that alter the body’s balance of electrolytes, such as potassium and magnesium
  • Detect other problems, such as overdoses of certain drugs
Symptoms that may prompt an EKG include:
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Nausea or the feeling that you have to vomit
  • History of fainting
An EKG may also be obtained if you:
  • Are about to have surgery with general anesthesia
  • Are in occupations that stress the heart or where public safety is a concern
  • Are an older adult or have diabetes
  • Already have heart disease
  • Have had a heart-related procedure, such as getting a pacemaker


American Heart Association

Heart Rhythm Society



Canadian Cardiovascular Society

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada



Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). American Heart Association website. Available at: Updated November 26, 2012. Accessed May 20, 2013.

Noninvasive tests and procedures. American Heart Association website. Available at: Updated April 15, 2013. Accessed May 20, 2013.

What is an electrocardiogram? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Updated October 1, 2010. Accessed May 20, 2013.


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