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Event Monitor

cardiocallAn event monitor, also known as a loop recorder, is a small light weight device connected to electrodes on the patient's chest, that can be carried like an MP3 player or iPod. Event monitors have proved to be useful in the diagnosis and assessment of symptoms such as blackouts and palpitations.

An event monitor is typically used by a patient for 7 - 15 days, depending on the frequency of the symptoms. When the patient has symptoms, he/she activates the device by pressing a button on it to signal 'an event'. The heart rhythm prior to and during the event is stored in the device memory. This technology is useful for the examination of patients who have intermittent or rare symptoms, since the device can be used for long periods of time. As the event monitor has 'memory' prior to activation, they are excellent for documenting transient events. The information stored in the device can be sent by the patient by telephone transmission directly to a receiving station, making the ECG recordings available for review by a cardiologist.

The technologies of ambulatory ECG (Holter monitor) and event monitor with trans-telephonic transmission of ECG data are complementary. As an example, current evidence indicates that event monitors are the examination of choice in patients with recurrent or unexplained syncope (fainting) that remain undiagnosed despite clinical examination and ambulatory ECG monitoring.

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