Cardiac telemetry is a way to observe a patient’s vital signs remotely. If you are experiencing heart problems, or are at risk for heart rhythm problems, you can be admitted to a cardiac telemetry unit for monitoring.
Patient rooms in cardiac telemetry units are equipped with monitors that continuously record and transmit vital sign readings. A specially trained cardiac telemetry nurse can observe and quickly respond to changes in heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, or other vital functions that signal a potential problem with your health.
Dignity Health hospitals offer cutting-edge diagnostic equipment and facilities, including cardiac telemetry units in the Bay Area. If you’re concerned about your heart health, use our online tool to Find a Doctor who can educate you about a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Why Have I Been Admitted to a Cardiac Telemetry Unit?
There are several reasons why your Dignity Health doctor may want to monitor your heart and other vital signs. Reasons for cardiac telemetry monitoring include:
- Chest pain with an unstable heart rhythm (changes in rate, regularity, or intensity of heartbeats)
- Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation)
- Observation before or after open heart surgery
- Monitoring after heart procedures such as cardioversion, which corrects abnormal heart rhythms
Knowing What to Expect from Cardiac Telemetry at Dignity Health
You may be admitted to a cardiac telemetry unit as part of your recovery from a heart condition or procedure. Cardiac telemetry is noninvasive and causes no complications. Your nurse will attach various vital sign sensors to your body to monitor your:
- Heart rate and rhythm — leads on your chest allow for ongoing EKG (electrocardiogram) recordings.
- Oxygen — a sensor on your finger measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.
- Blood pressure — a cuff is placed on your arm to regularly measure your blood pressure.
The blood pressure cuff will inflate periodically to take new readings. Data from the blood pressure cuff and other sensors is silently sent to monitors in the patient’s room and nurse’s station.
When your heart rhythm returns to normal, you may be moved to a regular hospital room, or permitted to go home.
Have a question about a heart condition or treatment? Dignity Health’s heart care team is always available to answer questions about your heart health with respect and compassion. Speak with a member of our heart care team today.
Dignity Health cardiac care services include cardiac rehabilitation and observation in our well-equipped cardiac telemetry units in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.