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Outpatient service for 24 hour heart monitoring available at Tyrone

When it comes to evaluating a person’s heart function, there are times when the doctors that specialize in evaluating and treating the heart require more information than can be captured from a single heart test. That is why for some patients, cardiologists may order holter monitoring.
Holter monitoring is an evaluation of the heart that uses technology to capture information about the electrical activity of a person’s heart over a 24-hour period. Patients who need holter monitoring generally do it as an outpatient.
A patient goes about their normal daily activities while wearing the monitor. The monitor is worn for a twenty-four hour period and throughout that time it captures information on the wearer’s heart.
“To hook up the monitor, small electrodes are placed on the patient’s chest and the electrodes are attached to the monitor that records the heart’s activity,” said V. Janakiraman, M.D., cardiologist on the medical staff at Tyrone Hospital.
The monitor is about the size of a cell phone. The information the monitor collects about heart function is stored on a memory card that is about the size of a postage stamp.
The monitor can be clipped on a person’s belt or waistband or worn over the shoulder like a purse. Once the data is collected, the memory chip is sent to the hospital’s cardiologists for evaluation.
Tyrone Hospital’s cardiologists have technology in their office that allows them to access the information on the data card.
Dr. Janakiraman explained that holter monitoring gives doctor’s more information about heart function because it records how the heart functions over a period of time, during the course of daily activities.
“It is like an extended EKG, with an EKG we learn about the heart with the patient at rest for a given point in time. With holter monitoring we get information about how a patient’s heart functions when they are doing daily activities such as unloading their groceries, climbing stairs, or eating dinner. It gives us much more information to help us evaluate the heart.”
Dr. Janakiraman said holter monitoring is often used in addition to other heart tests.
The Holter monitoring system used at Tyrone Hospital is comfortable and convenient for patients. The monitoring units are small and patients simply need to push a button for the monitor to capture the heart’s information. To supplement the data that the monitor records, patients are asked to note significant information while they are wearing the monitor. For example if they experience palpitations or become short of breath, the patient is asked to make a note of that information. The patient’s notes along with the data from the monitor are reviewed by the cardiologist.
In addition to holter monitoring, Tyrone Hospital also provides telemetry, electrocardiograhy and echocardiography for evaluation of heart function. Dr. Jankiraman also performs pacemaker insertion at Tyrone.
V. Janakiraman, M.D., and his partner Mukul Bhatnagar, M.D. are cardiologists who practice at Tyrone Hospital. Their Tyrone practice is in addition to their practice at Altoona Regional Health System. Between them they have provided services in Tyrone for more than 25 years.