These can be worn for 24 or 48 hours, or alternatively for 5 or 7 days.
The monitor involves having three tabs placed on your chest which make good skin contact. Each tab has a lead attached to it that connects with the monitor device, which is light and the size of a cassette. It is attached to your belt or worn round the neck.
The Holter device records electrical activity. If you have a change of heart rhythm, either the heart going too slow or too fast, it will record this. This enables the best advice to be given. More often it is provides reassurance that the extra beats are of a benign nature and not of any concern.
If you are wearing the device for 24, or possibly 48 hours you should leave it attached at all times and not shower or bathe, as this will interefere with the electrical contact tabs.
However, if you are wearing it for a longer period of time, then we will show you how to replace the electrotabs and re-connect the leads to them.
During the recording, if you have any symptoms, you can press the yellow or green buttons on the monitor and this will put an event marker on the recording. Also you are given a paper diary to enter the time of any symptoms and what it felt like, so we can correlate these symptoms with the recording.
When you hand back the monitor, the internal memory card on the device is analysed on a pathfinder machine, which will then print out a record of any relevant aspects of the recordings. The Holter monitors are useful for patients who have frequent symptoms, as they are caught during the time of monitoring.
With less frequent symptoms you will be given a different device called a cardio memo device.