An electrocardiogram (commonly referred to as an EKG) is a test used to measure the electrical activity of the heartbeat. Each time your heart beats, an electrical impulse (wave) travels through the heart. This wave is what causes your heart to squeeze and pump blood.
An EKG provides information about your heart rhythm and may tell us about your prior heart damage or heart enlargement.
The EKG procedure begins when technicians place several patches (electrodes) on the patient's chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes are then connected to lead wires, which connect to the EKG machine. Once the connections are made, the EKG records the heart's electrical activity onto a moving strip of paper for the doctor to examine. There is no pain or risk involved with having an EKG-- the machine only records the data, it does not send electricity into the body.