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
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
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
ξ 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
You will then send the stored data
over the phone to Life Support
Systems at 1-800-659-8151 (see:
ξ 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
ξ 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
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
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
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 6/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5489.