Your health care provider has ordered an Event Monitor.  We will show you how to use the monitor today and the instructions below will guide you in the successful use of the Monitor. 

What is an Event Monitor?

An Event Monitor is a tool used to record the electrical activity of the heart.  This activity is sometimes referred to as heart rhythm.  This monitor will record the heart rhythm when you have unusual symptoms or an “event.”  The monitor is worn for up to 30 days. It should also be worn at all times day and night.  

Why is an Event Monitor Used? 

If you’ve been having symptoms that come and go, such as palpitations, feeling dizzy, or fainting spells, your health care provider may want to find out what is causing this. This device will tell your doctor if your symptoms are caused by a heart rhythm that is not normal or by an arrhythmia.

An arrhythmia is a change in either the speed or pattern of your heartbeat.  During an arrhythmia, your heart may beat too fast, too slow, or without a pattern.  The Event Monitor will record and then analyze this information.  

Types of Event Monitors

There are three basic types of Event Monitors.  Your health care provider will decide which type is best for you. The Monitor must be kept dry at all times.  Getting the unit wet will damage it beyond repair.

  • Memory-Loop Monitor

This may also be called a pre-event recorder.  It has a memory loop that allows the device to “remember” what happened for about 45 seconds before and after an event.

The device is the size of a pager.  You can clip it to your belt or waistband, or place it in a shirt pocket.  The Monitor is attached to two small sticky patches, called electrodes.  These are placed on different areas of your chest.

You should wear the Monitor at all times.  When you have symptoms, you press a specific button to start the device.  It will record and store about 45 seconds of heart rhythm data before, during and after an event.  

You will then send the stored data over the phone to Life Support Systems at 1-800-659-8151 (see: “Trans-Telephone Transmission” section).

  • Hand-held Monitor

This does not have a memory loop.  It cannot “remember” what happened before it is turned on.  It starts recording your heart rhythm only after the button is pressed.  This type of device is small, light, and pocket size.  No electrodes are needed. 

You carry the recorder in a pocket or purse.  When you feel symptoms, you hold the recorder against the skin of your chest and turn the device on by pressing a button.  It will record and store about 30 seconds of heart rhythm after the event. 

  • Wireless Loop Monitor

This device works just like the memory-loop monitor, except you will not need to call Life Support to send your recordings over the phone.  It will pick up a cellular phone signal and send any recordings you have made automatically when the signal is strong enough.  

It is still a good idea to call Life Support Systems at 1-800-659-8151 from time to time to make sure they are receiving any recordings you have made.  

Trans-Telephone Transmission

You will use the device for up to 30 days, making recordings when symptoms occur.  Once you’ve stored an event, you will transmit the ECG over the phone.  Do not use a cell phone to transmit data.  The signal is not strong enough to send clear data.  ECG readings should be transmitted to: Life Support Systems at 1-800-659-8151.

You will call the Life Support receiving center to send the data over the phone.  When you are told to do so, unplug the wires from the monitor and press the “send” button on the Monitor.  Then place the mouthpiece of the phone over the Monitor.  The stored ECG data are then sent to the center.  Do not hang up the phone until you are told to do so by Life Support Systems.  This will ensure that the data has been received before you hang up.

When you make a recording, call the receiving center right away to transmit it.  If action is needed right away, Life Support Systems will tell you what to do.  The device you are using is owned by Life Support Systems.  If the unit is damaged or not returned, you may be charged for the device.

Test Results

Once you return your Monitor to Life Support, they will analyze the information and provide a written report.  This report is sent to a UW Health Cardiologist who will interpret and provide the results to your health care provider.  Your health care provider will share the results and design a treatment plan that is best for you.  For questions contact the Heart Station at 

(608) 263-6609