What is a Transtelephonic ECG?
A transtelephonic ECG is an ECG that is recorded outside the hospital and then sent to the hospital over the phone. This is done using a special device called a transtelephonic monitor. These monitors are useful for children who might have a problem with the heart's electrical signals. This type of problem is called an arrhythmia (ah-RITH-mee-ah). Often, the only way to diagnose an arrhythmia is by recording an ECG at the time the problem or the symptom occurs. This is because most arrhythmias are intermittent and the ECG is often entirely normal except when the arrhythmia is active. For children who are known to have an arrhythmia, a transtelephonic monitor may also be useful. For these children, an ECG can be sent whenever there is concern that the child is having the arrhythmia. The monitor may also be used to assess the child's response to arrhythmia treatment.
How is it done?
Transtelephonic ECG monitoring is done through the Pediatric Cardiology Clinic . ECGs can be sent over the phone to the clinic any time. If you are calling between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. the phone number is (734) 936-9076. The ECG will be received by an ECG technician who will review the tracing with a Pediatric Cardiologist. If there is evidence of an abnormal heart rhythm, you will be notified at the time the tracing is sent. If no problems are found, a written report will be sent to your family doctor. You will be called only if a problem is found.
You can also send ECG transmissions after 5 p.m. and on weekends or holidays. The tracing will be recorded on our answering machine and read the next working day. If the clinic is closed and you feel that your child's ECG needs to be seen by a doctor before the next working day, please call (734) 936-6267 and ask for the Pediatric Cardiology Fellow on call. That person will go to the clinic and review the tracing that is sent. Transtelephonic monitoring can be quite costly if many ECG tracings are sent. It is always a good idea to check with your insurance company to see what coverage is provided for this service.
2006: Information reviewed and approved by Laura Bell, RN, MSN, PNP Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Lynda Dettling RN, BSN.
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