The Echocardiology department provides echocardiogram and Holter monitor services.
An echocardiogram is a test in which ultrasound is used to examine the heart. The equipment is far superior to that used by fishermen. In addition to providing single-dimension images, known as M-mode echo that allows accurate measurement of the heart chambers, the echocardiogram also offers far more sophisticated and advanced imaging. This is known as two- dimensional (2-D) Echo and is capable of displaying a cross-sectional “slice” of the beating heart, including the chambers, valves and the major blood vessels that exit from the left and right ventricle
An echocardiogram is a non-invasive heart function procedure which assists physicians in identifying several factors surrounding the heart, including; chamber size, valve function, structural abnormalities, the presence of clot formation in the chambers of the heart, pumping function of the heart, as well as other pieces of information which can aid in the plan of care. The department is currently pursuing ICAEL accreditation, which is a means by which echocardiography laboratories can evaluate and demonstrate the level of patient care they provide.
A Holter monitor is a continuous tape recording of a patient's EKG for 24 hours. Since it can be worn during the patient's regular daily activities, it helps the physician correlate symptoms of dizziness, palpitations (a sensation of fast or irregular heart rhythm) or black outs. Since the recording covers 24 hours, on a continuous basis, Holter monitoring is much more likely to detect an abnormal heart rhythm when compared to the EKG which lasts less than a minute. It can also help evaluate the patient's EKG during episodes of chest pain, during which time there may be telltale changes to suggest ischemia (pronounced
is-keem-ya) or reduced blood supply to the muscle of the left ventricle.