Patient Information

Heart conditions leaflets

Cardio-Respiratory Department
Colchester Hospital
Tel: 01206 742 612


Having a 24 hour, 72 hour or seven day heart monitor

This is a little monitor about the size of a mobile phone that is designed to pick up all different types of heart rhythms (too slow heart rate, too fast heart rate).


Why do I need this?

The doctor may think your symptoms may be due to a too slow heart rate or too fast heart rate so they need to identify the best way to treat them.


What preparation does there need to be?

Please wear loose fitting clothes that are easily removable from the waist up.

Please do not wear any creams or lotions on your chest that day as it may reduce the electrodes sticking to your chest.


Where to come

You will find the Cardio-respiratory Department through Outpatients.


What happens when I arrive?

Please bring your appointment letter to reception and you will be shown where to wait. The ECG technician will call you into the room.


What happens during the procedure?

You will be asked to remove your clothes down to your waist and sit on the couch.

The ECG technician will show you your monitor (and also ask if you will be able to return it the next day as we will need it back to analyse your results and to clean it in readiness for the next patient.)

The technician will lightly rub your chest to provide a better contact with the electrode – an electrode is a sticky pad that is attached to your chest.

The monitor has three cables which are then attached to the electrodes.

The electrodes will constantly monitor your heart rhythm and relay signals back to the monitor. The technician will press some buttons on the monitor to ensure they have the best quality trace. They will also instruct you how to wear your monitor, what to do if you need to take it off for a bath and how to re-attach the electrodes. They will show you how to fill out a diary so we can see if your symptoms relate to your heart rhythm. Once this has been done, you can dress and go. This procedure is painless.


How long does it take?

No longer than 15 minutes.


What happens afterwards?

You are free to go and encouraged to carry out normal day to day activities. The results will be sent back to the consultant or GP or requested them.


What are the risks of the procedure and not having the procedure?

There may be a slight reaction to the electrodes which will disappear afterwards.However, if this becomes red or sore remove the monitor.


Contact details

If you have any further concerns or worries please phone 01206 742 612.


Verifying your identity

When you attend hospital you will be asked to confirm your first and last names, date of birth, postcode and NHS number, if you know it, and to let us know if you have any allergies.


Your experience matters

We value your feedback. Please help us improve our services by answering a simple question, in our online survey – “Overall, how was your experience of our services?”.

This survey is known as The Friends and Family Test.



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