10 Stress Test Facts

cardiac stress test procedure
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An electrocardiogram (ECG) stress test helps in monitoring the patient’s heartbeat, both at rest and during workout sessions.

During the test, a physician observes the patient, monitors workout and records the result until he or she attains the maximum heart rate. Today we bring you 10 facts about stress test.


The Stress Test

1. Definition

Physicians use stress test in evaluating the patient’s heart rate. The test requires the patient to perform exercises on an exercise bike or treadmill as the physician monitors his or her blood pressure, breathing rate, heart rate and feeling of well being.

2. Purpose

Human beings require more oxygen when they are active than when resting. Therefore, the heart needs to pump at a faster rate.

Because of high levels of stress, workouts help to reveal any form of coronary problems faced by the patient.

Although it is not perfect, stress test offers initial, non-invasive as well as practical coronary test.

In simple words, stress tests help medical experts to determine any possible coronary complications faced by an individual.

3. Precautions

When conducting a stress test, you have to take a number of precautions.

Therefore, the health care professional conducting the test should equip himself or herself with a defibrillator and any other emergency tool.

4. Symptoms of heart attack

During a stress test, the patient should note some of the symptoms of stress so that he or she will know when to stop the test.

Some of the common symptoms include:

• Chest pain

• A great drop in blood pressure

• Irregular heart beat

• Dizziness and fainting

• Grayish skin

5. Description

The electrician will place electrodes under your collarbone as well as the bottom of each of your ribs.

In addition, he will place six electrodes across the outline of your chest. Then he will attach wires to the ECG to record electrical activities taken up by the electrodes.

The physician will run the entire test as you continue to lie down.

6. Preparation

Before going for a stress test, you should not eat anything nor smoke.

The doctor will also inform you about the kind of medication you should avoid before the test.

In addition, you have to wear comfortable shoes and workout clothes.

7. Aftercare

After taking the test, you need to rest until your heart rate and blood pressure return to their normal state.

If you do not see any sign of stress or side effects, you can return to your daily activities.

8. Risks

Stress test comes with a few risks including cardiac arrest, angina and cardiac arrhythmia.

9. Normal results

For normal results, the electrocardiogram tracings, blood pressure and heart rate will remain under the normal range.

This indicates that you do not have any problem.

10. Abnormal results

Before you go for a stress test, you need to understand that you can get abnormal results.

An abnormal test result can indicate if there’s any reduction in blood that is rich in oxygen, heart disturbances, or even structural abnormalities in different areas of the heart.

If you have a high blood pressure, your heart may not be able to manage or handle workouts undertaken during these sessions.

Stress abnormalities require further evaluation and sometimes therapy.

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