What is a Holter monitor?
A Holter monitor (often simply "Holter" or ambulatory electrocardiography "EKG / ECG" device) is a portable device for continuously monitoring various electrical activity of the cardiovascular system for 24 to 48 hours.
It is useful for evaluating for cardiac arrhythmias which occur daily or every other day.
For patients having more rare symptoms, a cardiac event monitor, which can be worn for a month can be used.
When might this be ordered?
If your child has a previously identified rhythm abnormality or ectopy (extra beats) on a prior study.
If your child has complaints of chest pain, palpitations, fainting or dizziness that are frequent.
What is expected on the day of my Holter?
There will be a $50 deposit (regardless of your insurance) that can be given by cash, check or credit card. The deposit will NOT be processed unless the Holter is not returned on time or is damaged.
Your child must be accompanied by a parent / guardian unless they are over 18 years old. Otherwise we will have to reschedule.
Please make sure we have an correct phone number on file as we will be calling to provide results.
What is involved in a Holter monitor?
We will apply 5 small stickers to the chest which are connected to wires running to a small box that can be clipped to clothing or placed in a bag worn around the neck.
There is a button on the device that is to be pressed for any symptoms, at bedtime or during exercise.
You will be provided a diary to document when the button was pushed and for what reason. We must have this returned with the device in order to fully evaluate your child.
You will be asked to keep the monitor on for the entire 24-48 hours including during sleep, school and daily activities.
What precautions should I take while wearing the monitor?
The monitor cannot get wet. You should not shower, bathe or swim while wearing it. You should not apply any lotions or powders while wearing it, deodarant is okay. Ideally you should try to shower before having it applied.
You should try to avoid any activies where you expect the monitor could be damaged, such as contact sports.
When should I expect results?
Results may take up to 2 weeks from the day you return the monitor. Unfortunately due to a high volume of patients we may not get back to you in that time. If you have not heard any results after 2 weeks we ask you call our office to check on your results. We will always try to reach out to you immediately to give results if something abnormal is found.
What if the Holter is damaged or late?
We should always ask that you inspect the device before we place it on your child to note any scracthes or damage. You will be asked to sign a Holter Agreement that the device was received by you undamaged. If it is returned damaged the cost could be from $40 to $2000 depending on what part is damaged.
You will be asked to sign a Holter Agreement prior to placing the device which will indicate when the device is due to be returned. If it is late your $50 deposit will be kept and you will be charged $50 a day until it is returned. If it is not returned you will also be charged the full price to replace the monitor which may be up to $2000.