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Has anyone had an ECG at the GP surgery recently?

(31 Posts)
2boys1girlforme Thu 10-Dec-15 11:24:17

Have been having ectopic beats regularly for a while so GP booked me in for an ECG.
Also had a little burning chest pain which is high up on the left and doesn't feel deep, which I presumed was acid related.
Anyway, have had ECG this morning and the nurse phoned the hospital and played the recording down the phone?! She said a full report will be done by the weekend but the person on the other end on phone asked the nurse to ask me twice if I'm feeling OK at the moment? The nurse thought this was odd so now I am obviously terrified!
I am under a lot of stress at the moment so have put everything down to that until now.
Has anyone had similar and all turned out to be OK?

Eva50 Thu 10-Dec-15 22:22:50

I had one recently but the nurse just took the print out through to show my GP who said it was fine. He later decided that there were changes when comparing it to my previous one (done 7 years before) so decided to send me for an echocardiogram which was fine.

I'm sure that if they had seen anything too worrying on the ECG they would not have let you go home but would have sent you to the hospital. They may have asked if you were feeling ok at the time as they will do ECG's at the surgery on patients who have gone in with chest pain or a history of things that sound cardiac related. Let us know how you get on.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 10-Dec-15 22:25:39

I had one recently which was reviewed that day by the hospital, I'd been told it was OK so had gone home, that night at 7pm a GP turned up on my doorstep and sent me straight to hospital.

moosemama Sun 13-Dec-15 21:00:42

I had one on Thursday the week before last. GP noted an irregluar heartbeat at another appointment. I booked a telephone appointment to get the results from my GP the following week.

I was worried, as a very obvious alarm noise went off when I was having the trace. I asked the nurse that was doing the ECG if anything showed up, but she said she's not qualified to analyse the readings, as it involves complicated calculations and she's not allowed to comment on it all.

GP phoned me early to say there were two anomalies, one is probably normal for me and most likely nothing to worry about (so I'd guess the occasional ectopic) the other was something very specific, that could be very serious and have wider implications for my family. She said she needs to speak to a specialist and will call me back this week to let me know what's happening.

So, I've been left with a week of worry, not knowing whether or not the results were interpreted correctly, how bad the problem is and what the next step is if it is. Dh says she should have just said she wasn't qualified to analyse everything, so was waiting to speak to someone who could, rather than naming the problem, then leaving me in limbo.

This weekend I have had several odd episodes, with strange readings/patterns on my hrm. I have been having similar episodes fairly frequently for the last couple of years, but haven't been monitoring my heart at the time, as I assumed they were neurological in origin, because that's the route the GP has sent me for investigations - twice. Now I don't know what to think and as a result found the episodes scary for the first time ever.

I would have assumed that if whatever they found was serious they'd have moved more quickly to get it thoroughly checked out - but my experience of the NHS so far hasn't done much to fill me with confidence.

2boys1girlforme Wed 16-Dec-15 17:53:30

Well GP has just called me and said it is essentially normal but a couple of abnormalities which he can't tell me if they are anything to worry about or not as he isn't the referring doctor. Have to go see her next Tuesday - hmm, worried now!

Moose - I'm sorry you have a week of worry also x

moosemama Wed 16-Dec-15 20:52:36

I would be reassured that they're not rushing you through, so hopefully nothing serious.

Spoke to my GP yesterday, who told me she'd referred me to cardiology straight away, rather than wasting time trying to get hold of a cardiologist to discuss my results. She then offered to give me a copy to take to my appointment with a private consultant about something else today. So I actually saw what abnormalities they were and the actual readings. Checked the numbers and found I was very borderline.

Had that appointment today, they ran another ECG which was totally normal, as the consultant predicted it would be. Consultant said he sees it all the time, anomalies show up occasionally, then are never seen on subsequent ecgs and don't represent anything significant.

What I did find out today is that I have Autonomic Dysfunction and POTs (which is what I suspected). I don't know enough about it, but I assume autonomic dysfunction could mess with heart rhythm to some extent as well as giving me all my other weird and wonderful symptoms.

It's been a horrible week and I was so relieved when he told today's ecg was normal.

Fingers crossed you have a similarly benign outcome. Do let come back and let us know how you get on on Tuesday. x

2boys1girlforme Wed 16-Dec-15 22:38:20

Thank you Moose. I have a couple of autoimmune conditions - one being a thyroid condition - I wonder if it could be related to that?
I also heard that GP ECG's which are played down the phone line for the hospital to interpret often show abnormalities in error and when followed up at hospital nothing is found? Really hoping this is the case.

So please for you that today's ECG was fine smile x

sashh Thu 17-Dec-15 08:36:17

Analysing ECGs used to be part of my job.

Asking if you OK usually means that there is something most people feel but some don't.

It doesn't mean their is anything serious, it means they will probably want to have a look at you.

Things such as a high heart rate can just be normal for you.

One of the simplest 'abnormalities' is that your heart and lungs lie against each other, this shows as an 'abnormality', it usually disappears if you breath in and hold your breath. Some forms of irregular heart beat will become regular if you hold your breath.

If you are ever having an ECG and you are asked to take a deep breath and hold it this is why.

In layman's turns, some of the waves should point up and some down, if one (or more) point in the wrong direction it is an 'abnormality' but for some it is 'normal for you' and for others it means it needs investigating.

moosemama Thu 17-Dec-15 10:50:39

sashh (sorry to hijack*2boys*) can I ask you if it makes a difference if the ECG was done with a bra on, rather than off.

The one I had done at the surgery- that showed anomalies, was done with my bra still on. Whereas the one I had a few years back and the one they did yesterday were done with no clothing at all to my upper body and both were totally normal.

Dh said last night, that he wondered, given that I am very large chested and therefore have a large, structured, metal wired bra, if the bra could interfere with the readings. They were very insistent that I shouldn't wear one for yesterday's ECG.

2boys1girlforme Thu 17-Dec-15 11:34:40

Thank you Sashh, that makes me feel lots better smile

I had my bra on moose, very large chested here too!

sashh Thu 17-Dec-15 12:02:30

sashh (sorry to hijack*2boys*) can I ask you if it makes a difference if the ECG was done with a bra on, rather than off.

It is impossible to get the electrodes in the right place with a bra on.

It is impossible to place the electrodes in the right place without feeling and counting the ribs too.

You can feel on your self, fell between the ribs close to the sternum and you will find a bit that has some give but not as much as away from the sternum - that's where the first two chest electrodes go.

The 6 chest leads should be 2 over the right ventricle, 2 over the sternum and the final two over the left ventricle.

For arhythmias you really only need a rhythm strip which can be done with just the limb leads - similar to the monitor hospitals use.

If you go to the cardiology department at the hospital you will always be asked to remove your bra.

moosemama Thu 17-Dec-15 12:25:36

That's really interesting, thanks sashh.

The first time I had one, many many years ago and yesterday they were absolutely insistent the bra had to come off. The one I had done at the GP surgery was done with it on and the only one with anomalies was the one with the bra on.

It made me wonder, as the position she put the leads on the left yesterday wouldn't have been possible with my bra on.

Can't help thinking that might be significant.

moosemama Thu 17-Dec-15 12:36:16

Just found this article that explains why leaving a bra on can affect the reading. Makes perfect sense. Yesterday's nurse gently lifted my ridiculous 34JJ breast out of the way to place the lead, the one at the GP's just stuck the pad under the line of my bra wire.

I guess I was a little to blame though, as I had sworn I'd never have another ECG after the nurse at the first one had problems with the machine, but didn't give me anything to cover myself and just threw the door to the waiting room open while she went off to find someone. I told this to the nurse that did it at the GP's this time and she then said I could keep my bra on.

moosemama Thu 17-Dec-15 13:57:27

Just realised GP's ECG technician left my watch on as well!

sashh Fri 18-Dec-15 01:37:23

Lol the watch doesn't make a difference.

With breasts you usually put electrodes underneath but occasionally over the top - depends on which is closest to the rib.

GrinAndTonic Fri 18-Dec-15 05:18:01

sashh fellow ecg'er, what is your opinion on the over boob or under boob debate when dong a twelve lead?

GrinAndTonic Fri 18-Dec-15 05:19:15

Posted too soon.

Do you find one better then the other?

moosemama Fri 18-Dec-15 11:22:47

Ah, that's ok then. I read somewhere that watches had to be removed as they can interfere with the lead's signal. Had the pads on my wrists for the last one, so the watch has to be off anyway.

sashh Fri 18-Dec-15 14:34:26


I think which ever is closest tot he actual position you want, so a saggy boob it might be possible to do over the top, although I know there are some people who will argue that you should always go under - but if under is taking you to the 6th intercontinental space over would be better.

But in the days of the welsh cup - a well positioned boob can keep the electrode in place.

What's your opinion on using a baby's forehead instead of the left ankle?

And do you hate automatic diagnosis as much as I do?

GrinAndTonic Sat 19-Dec-15 07:30:45

Nothing worse then having to use two hands to hoist up a boob grin

I've never used the forehead technique. I may just have to look that one up. I've never seen anyone do it before but I am in Australia.

I don't mind the computer giving its opinion but I usually ignore it. I always ripped the diagnosis off before handing over the patient. Nothing worse then the triage nurse reading the stemi diagnosis and not the ecg and calling the cavalry.

sashh Mon 21-Dec-15 04:25:28

The forehead technique can be used up until about 2 - quite useful for wriggly ones.

Boy I miss that job.

2boys1girlforme Tue 22-Dec-15 10:26:54

I have been to GP this morning. Apparently the electricity is flowing the wrong way at the big 'whoosh' point. It could be nothing and just the way I was born but my ECG is being sent to a cardiologist to see if they want to do anything else.
She also said that if it was repeated it may not show anything up next time?! So now I'm wondering if it was because my bra was kept on and the leads were in the wrong place?
Any ECG'ers still around please?

moosemama Tue 22-Dec-15 10:39:23

So you're still none the wiser and being left hanging, but it sounds like they don't think it's urgent anyway, which hopefully is some small comfort.

They really don't seem to understand how insensitive it is to leave people hanging over Christmas with things like this do they? Surely they could have spoken to a cardiologist by now? flowers

sashh Wed 23-Dec-15 12:15:49

Not sure what they mean by 'big whoosh'.

The electrical signal can go the wrong way, or deviate, it just depends what is actually going on.

2boys1girlforme Wed 23-Dec-15 13:50:11

She said to think of it as; ideally on a road we would go from A to B in a straight line but sometimes we can't and have to go a different route but we get there in the end and that's OK. She likened it to that?!

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