An estimated 25% of deaths are related to heart disease. According to the CDC, there is a death related to cardiovascular conditions recorded every 36 seconds within the US. Every year, these diseases claim the lives of over 600,000 individuals in the country. Continuous monitoring of the heart’s electrical impulses is useful, but there are difficulties when the patient is not admitted to the hospital.
A Holter monitor is generally used in cases where the doctor needs to monitor a patient’s heart for a period of 24 hours or longer. These devices can be worn at home, making them convenient in scenarios where the patient is not admitted. There are several restrictions while wearing a Holter monitor that patients should be aware of. This ensures the patient does not cause problems with the device’s functionality. We take a closer look at specific restrictions associated with these medical devices.
Restrictions While Wearing The Monitor
A Holster monitor is an electronic device that the patient wears. There are multiple electrical components that form part of the monitor. For this reason, a patient needs to understand the restrictions while wearing a Holter monitor. Failure to comply with these restrictions can cause problems with the device. This would interfere with the monitoring functionality, which means the data provided to the healthcare provider is not accurate.
We will take a closer look at some important restrictions patients should understand when they wear these monitors.
While a standard fridge magnet is unlikely to cause problems, patients are advised to avoid coming into contact with stronger magnets. A strong magnet may cause problems with the functions of the Holter monitor. This may result in an interference with the accuracy provided by the monitor. In turn, the doctor would not be presented with data that can help them make an appropriate diagnosis for the patient.
If the patient works in an environment where strong magnets are located, they should mention this to a doctor. Patients should also ensure they tell a doctor if they were close to a strong magnet while wearing the Holter monitor.
Avoid Mobile Devices
Doctors will usually advise a patient to avoid using a smartphone or other mobile device too close to the Holter monitor as well. Patients should understand that they are not completely restricted from using these devices. The idea here is to keep devices with wireless technologies at a distance from the monitor. A distance of six inches is advised. This helps to prevent the wireless technologies from the mobile device from causing an interference with the Holter monitor. The same applies to devices like MP3 players, especially if it is equipped with wireless technologies.
Another important restriction to consider is to avoid water. A common question is whether a Holter monitor shower would be a good idea. Patients should take note that there are multiple electronic components in the Holter monitor. With this in mind, avoiding water is one of the more important recommendations. Water and other liquids can cause physical damage to the Holter monitor. All parts of the monitor need to be kept dry – this includes the electrodes placed on the skin, the leads that connect these to the monitor, and the main device.
Patients can wash themselves by using a washcloth. Some patients use wet wipes as a way to clean their skin while they wear the Holter monitor. In these cases, the patient should carefully work with a damp cloth. It should not go near the electrodes or the wires that are attached to their skin.
Avoid Some Electronics
Patients are also advised to avoid getting too close to certain electronic devices. These are devices that send out signals. The signal can cause interference with the monitor. This can affect the data presented to the doctor. If this happens, the data cannot be used to diagnose the patient or develop a personalized treatment plan.
Metal detectors should be avoided as much as possible. In addition to metal detectors, the patient should also limit their exposure to electric shavers and toothbrushes. Microwaves also produce signals that cause problems with the data recorded by the Holter monitor.
Can You Go About Your Daily Routine?
When patients learn about the restrictions while wearing a Holter monitor, they often find themselves unsure about whether or not they can continue with their usual routine. The good news is, for the most part, people can return to their daily activities without any problems.
A patient is able to go to their workplace, attend a meeting, and even visit their friends when they wear a Holster monitor. Some light exercise is also allowed while wearing the monitor, as long as the activity does not lead to excessive sweating. If the patient sweats too much, it may cause liquid damage to the monitor.
Holter monitors are generally worn for a 24-hour period and sometimes longer. During this period, patients should be aware of restrictions to their daily routines. While it is possible to resume normal daily operations while wearing the device, getting close to magnets, other electronics, or water may lead to complications.