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Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

Many children come to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health for EKGs. Our goal at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health is to provide your child with the best care possible. Our hospital has a large staff with extensive facilities to assist the doctor in meeting your child's needs. We know that this may be a new experience, and you may be anxious about what to expect. We wish to make you as comfortable and as informed as possible.

Your child needs an explanation of what to expect about his or her EKG before coming into the hospital. This web page is prepared for parents to help explain the procedure and hospitalization and to answer your child's questions as they arise. We also find that if your questions are answered about the procedure, you may feel more comfortable about the visit. Your calm attitude and confidence will then be conveyed to your child.

The Electrocardiogram

This section is a detailed discussion about the events that surround an EKG. This section is for your information and will allow you to choose the areas to discuss with your child.

An EKG is a study that your child’s doctor may order that will allow him or her to better understand the electrical activity of your child's heart. It only records the heart's own electrical activity and does not conduct any outside electricity to the body. The procedure is quick and painless.

Where to Go For Your Appointment

Most EKGs are performed in conjunction with a clinic visit with your child's cardiologist. You should initially report to the Riley Cardiology at IU Health Medical Service Area on the 2nd floor of the Riley Outpatient Center at IU Health, room 2270.

After this, you and your child will be directed to the Cardio-Pulmonary Diagnostic Center to have the EKG performed. If your child is not scheduled for a clinic visit, you and your child should report directly to the Cardio-Pulmonary Diagnostic Center on the 2nd floor of the Riley Outpatient Center, room 2340.

What to Expect

Upon arrival to the Cardio-Pulmonary Diagnostic Center, your child will be checked in. There is a comfortable waiting area in which you can relax while the technician prepares the machine. Your child will then be called to the EKG room.

The entire EKG takes only a few minutes to perform. During that time, your child will be lying down on a bed. The technician will apply some sticky electrode patches and wires to your child's chest. The technician will then activate the machine and a recording of the electrical activity of your child's heart will be made and printed on special paper. The actual recording process takes approximately 15 seconds. During this 15-second interval it is important for your child to lie perfectly still to allow for optimal recording.

Once the study has been completed, the technician will remove the electrodes and allow your child to get dressed. If your child is also scheduled for an echocardiogram, this will be performed before you are sent back to Riley Cardiology at IU Health. 

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