If you or a loved one has been scheduled for a treadmill stress test, you may be wondering what you can expect. The procedure is usually done in a hospital or exercise physiology lab.
In either setting, before the onset of the test, a laboratory technician will place electrodes on the body at various locations. These locations include the legs, arms, and chest. These electrodes read and record the heart's electrical data. In some cases, the technician may need to shave the area in preparation for the electrode to be placed to ensure a good reading.
As the test begins, you can expect to start walking at a slow pace. The pace and incline of the treadmill will slowly increase over the test duration.
Patients are closely monitored during the test and in the event of any problems the tech will quickly end testing. Monitoring includes regular vital sign measurements as well as blood pressure readings. For most people, the test is finished in under 10 minutes. Afterward, the heart data is made available for interpretation by a cardiologist.
The above video, filmed at St. Paul’s in Vancouver, contains info on what to expect during your stress test as well as a look at the stress testing facilities at one of the busiest stress testing labs in the province.
Sources:Providence Health Vancouver