What is an Electrocardiogram or EKG?

  • An Electrocardiogram is a noninvasive test that records the electrical activity of the heart.
  • The electrical activity is related to the impulses that travel through the heart that determine the heart's rate and rhythm.
  • Electrodes are placed on the chest, arms and legs.
  • The test takes about five to ten minutes.
  • This test must be ordered by a doctor.

Why is an Electrocardiogram Done?

  • This test will help the doctor to evaluate the patient's cardiac condition related to:
    • If a heart attack has occurred
    • What part of the heart was damaged
    • If there are any irregular heart beats or rhythm
    • If there is a decreased supply of blood and oxygen to the heart

What Preparation is Needed?

  • No restrictions on food, liquid or medications prior to the test.
  • Do not apply lotions, oils, or powder to the chest.


  • Pre-register 1-3 days prior to the day the test is scheduled. This will save considerable time on the day of the test. Please call 310-517-4754 to pre-register.
  • Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the test.
  • Enter the hospital through the main lobby.
  • If pre-registered go directly to the Cardiology Department which is located in the basement.
  • If not pre-registered, plan to arrive an hour before the scheduled time of the test and first check in at the information desk in the main lobby in order to register.