An event monitor is very similar to a Holter monitor in that it is a portable EKG that can record data beyond when patients are at their physician’s office. However, unlike a Holter monitor, the event monitor is triggered by the patient themselves and does not offer continuous recording. The event monitor can be worn for up to 30 days, during which time the patient can trigger the recording activity every time they have an arrhythmic episode.
Why might an event monitor be needed?
Event monitors may be needed when there is any kind of abnormal heartbeat. This may be a fast heartbeat, known as tachycardia; a slow heartbeat, known as bradycardia; or when patients experience unexplained lightheadedness, palpitations, chest pain or fainting, known as syncope. The electrophysiologist will determine whether a Holter or event monitor is more suitable for the patient’s particular situation. For longer-term data, an implantable loop recorder may be appropriate. This will be determined after a full analysis of the patient’s condition.
Monitoring the data
Periodically, the data from the event recorder will be sent to our office for analysis. This data will be very useful in understanding the type of arrhythmia. However, patients should also keep a journal of their activities immediately before, during, and after the arhythmic episode. This will assist the electrophysiologist in understanding more about the circumstances during which an episode occurs.
Risks of an event monitor
An event monitor is completely safe, as it is entirely non-invasive.