ECG and Spirometry
Nurses in our centres are trained in performing 12-lead ECG (electrocardiogram) to assist in diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias and other conditions. The ECG is interpreted by the doctor.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a medical test that detects cardiac (heart) abnormalities by measuring the electrical activity generated by the heart as it contracts. The machine that records the patient’s ECG is called an electrocardiograph. The electrocardiograph records the electrical activity of the heart muscle and displays this data as a trace on a screen or on paper. This data is then interpreted by a medical practitioner. ECGs from normal, healthy hearts have a characteristic shape. Any irregularity in the heart rhythm or damage to the heart muscle can change the electrical activity of the heart so that the shape of the ECG is changed. A doctor may recommend an ECG for patients who may be at risk of heart disease because there is a family history of heart disease, or because they smoke, are overweight, have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
Lung function testing assists in the management of asthma and other chronic lung disorders. We have a computerised spirometer to perform this type of testing.
Common lung conditions, such as asthma and emphysema, cause problems by narrowing the airways (bronchial tubes) resulting in shortness of breath. Narrowed airways are difficult to breathe through - the greater the narrowing, the more difficult breathing becomes.
Spirometry and flow volume curves are tests which are of great value for measuring exactly how much narrowing is present.
These tests involve taking a full breath in and blowing out with best effort into a device called a spirometer. Measurements are made which indicate the speed at which the lungs can be emptied and filled with air. The test is performed whilst seated, and usually takes 10 to 20 minutes. It is sometimes carried out before and after inhaling a reliever drug such as VentolinTM or BricanylTM to measure the effect of these drugs. In this case, your doctor may ask you not to take your usual reliever medication for a few hours prior to the test.
The test is performed by one of the registered nurses and the results are reviewed with your doctor after the test.
Simply call our clinic for an appointment. Some medication may need to be avoided before this test is performed so please speak to the doctors at your next visit.
Please note private fees apply for both procedures, rebate available with a valid Medicare card.