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Forum Name: Arrhythmias

Question: How do I keep my holter monitor patches from falling off?


 Lpasche - Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:21 pm

Pretty simple question I have for you. I had a 24 hour holter monitor put on today, the areas that the nurse stuck the patches wasn't prepped with anything before they were applied, just following an echocardiogram. They told me it would be ok to workout with the monitor on, so I did. I sweat, and now they are starting to peel in a couple places. I know if they aren't stuck on properly they won't get accurate or clear results. Can I just place medical tape over them to secure them, or will that not help to ensure clear results?
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:22 pm

User avatar Hi,
If reliable recordings of the cardiac electrical activity has to take place during Holter monitoring (more so, in the case of ambulatory monitoring),
- the self adhesive electrodes should be fixed to the skin securely and
- the lead wires should be securely hooked on to to the recorder(monitor box).

The Holter monitor recordings are subject to a number of "disturbances". Some of these are directly related to the electrode-skin interface. These are,

- Electrode contact noise: variable contact between the electrode and the skin, causes baseline drifts in the tracing.
- Motion artifacts: shifts(drifting) in the baseline caused by changes in the electrode-skin impedance.

There are other factors as well to which improperly fixed electrodes may contribute, such as,
- Muscle contraction: may generate electromyogram(EMG)-type of signals and which get mixed with the ECG signals.
- Respiratory artefats: causing baseline drifts.

Therefore, proper fixing of the electrodes is mandatory for dependable recordings.If you have concerns about the security of these electrodes, you should contact your doctor and discuss your concerns rather than to try fixing the electrodes with medical tape (which is unlikely to do any good to the wobbly EKG tracings other than preventing the electrodes falling off!).
Best wishes!

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