Cardiac stress test
A stress test is used to determine how well your heart functions during exertion. This can help your doctor diagnose the cause of chest pain, evaluate efficacy of heart medicines or procedures, or your exercise tolerance.
If you take a medicine named Viagra, you should not use it for 48 hours before your stress test. This test will take approximately one hour. Ten electrodes will be applied to your chest. Certain areas of the chest may need to be shaved on male patients. These electrodes will be connected to wires leading to the stress test equipment. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm. Resting blood pressure and EKG information will be obtained before the test.
You will then be asked to step on the treadmill and begin walking. Walking on the treadmill is used to increase your heart rate so the physician can see how your heart responds to increased demand. The treadmill will gradually increase in speed and elevation at three-minute stages. The test will continue until an appropriate heart rate level for you is reached, or you cannot continue. We will listen to what you say as you walk and ask you questions about how you feel. If, at any time, you feel you cannot continue, the treadmill will be stopped.
Your EKG and blood pressure response will be monitored while you walk on the treadmill. A physician, an RN, and another qualified staff member will be present during the exam. They will be continuously monitoring your electrocardiogram, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory response to exercise. When the test is stopped the treadmill will be slowed down and you will be seated for a 9-minute recovery period. When your heart rate and blood pressure return to a level that is normal for you, the wires and electrodes will be removed. The physician present for the exam will dictate a final report, which will be sent to your doctor within a few days.
For more information about cardiac stress testing, please call us at 765-453-8333. Our department is located downstairs in the northwest corner of the hospital. We are dedicated to making your testing experience a pleasant one.