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Reasons for an Electrocardiogram


An EKG — also called an electrocardiogram, or an ECG — is a diagnostic test that painlessly records your heart’s electrical activity. The test shows whether your heartbeat is regular or irregular, strong or weak, and determines how fast your heart is beating. 

Dignity Health doctors use an EKG to diagnose heart problems, such as heart attacks, abnormal heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias), and heart disease (coronary artery disease). Your doctor may order an EKG if you experience the following symptoms: 

  • Chest pain
  • Pounding, racing, or irregular heartbeat
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

An EKG may also be used before surgery to make sure that your heart is strong enough to proceed, or to monitor any existing heart condition

Our goal is to keep your heart beating strong. An EKG may also be used before surgery to make sure that your heart is strong enough to proceed, or to monitor any existing heart condition. 

Our goal is to keep your heart beating strong. Find a Doctor who can tell you more about Dignity Health’s use of advanced diagnostic procedures and treatment protocols — including EKG in the Bay Area — to treat the whole person, not just the condition. who can tell you more about Dignity Health’s use of advanced diagnostic procedures and treatment protocols — including EKG in the Bay Area — to treat the whole person, not just the condition.

Knowing What to Expect from Your EKG Test

An EKG machine records your heart’s electrical activity using electrode patches that are attached to your chest, arms, and legs. The procedure takes about 10 minutes, and can be performed by a doctor, nurse, or a technician. There are no known complications or risks from an EKG test. 

Understanding your EKG Test Results

Dignity Health doctors look for the following in your EKG test results: 

  • Heart rhythm irregularities (arrhythmias), including fast or slow heartbeat
  • Signs of a heart attack and damage to your heart
  • Reduced blood and oxygen to your heart due to heart disease
  • Heart defects, including problems with the valves or walls of the heart

After reviewing your results along with your age, medical history, and results of other diagnostic tests, your doctor will let you know your risks and recommend potential next steps. 

Take control of your heart health and learn more about Dignity Health’s cardiac services and advanced diagnostic tests, such as EKG in the Bay Area. Our doctors, nurses, and staff are committed to serving every patient with dignity and humankindness.

Dignity Health ensures that you feel comfortable and confident with your medical treatment, including evaluation of your EKG readings, in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.