Preparation for your Procedure
Welcome and thank you for choosing Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for your Echocardiogram. Our physicians and technologists are dedicated to providing highly skilled and compassionate care for you and your family. We understand that you may be apprehensive about your procedure. We hope the following information will be helpful to you as you prepare
The Cardiac Diagnostics Lab is on the 3rd floor of Memorial’s Pavilion in the P3 Link.
We want to make your experience as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to call your physician or the Cardiac Diagnostics lab at (814) 534-9659 between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Your physician’s office will schedule the date and time of your appointment with Central Scheduling. You or your physician’s office will be provided any necessary instructions when the exam is scheduled.
If you develop a cough, cold, abnormal temperature, sore throat or flu-like symptoms, or if you come in contact with anyone suffering from measles, chickenpox or any other communicable diseases within 2 weeks prior to your scan, please call your physician. It may be necessary to reschedule your scan for a time when you are feeling better.
Your physician will let you which medications, if any, you should stop prior to your stress test.
You will not be permitted to smoke or consume caffeine for at least 24 hours before the scheduled time of the Treadmill Stress Test. Avoid chocolate, coffee, tea, sodas or any other products containing caffeine. Consuming caffeine or smoking can cause a delay or cancellation of your procedure.
On the Morning of Your Procedure
In the morning of your procedure you are permitted a light breakfast. Please take all your regularly scheduled medications unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
Shower or bathe the morning of your procedure. Please do not use body powders, lotions or creams to your chest area. Please wear loose-fitting, clean, comfortable clothing.
Please bring any order that your physicians office provided for you. If you were not contacted by pre-certification please bring your identification and insurance cards. If you have questions about your insurance coverage or pre-certification, call your insurance company. If you are not covered by insurance, please make arrangements for payment by calling the business office at 814-410-8470.
Please bring your list of medications.
Children under 18 years of age or incapacitated adults must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You may be accompanied by one adult family member or friend. Children should not accompany adults having a procedure.
When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your procedure, check in at the Out patient registration desk to the left on the 1st floor lobby of Memorial’s main building. You will be registered and escorted to The Cardiac Diagnostic Center. Sign in at the desk. You will be taken to the waiting room.
Healthcare professionals will be available in this area to make you comfortable and to answer your questions. Your safety is our number one priority.
The staff may ask you the same questions several times; they will ask your name and birth date. By repeating our questions, we are verifying and re-verifying very important information to ensure that your time with us is as safe as possible.
During Your Procedure
You will be taken to the exam room you will be asked to put on a hospital gown. The people around you in the room will be preparing for your procedure. The technician will stay by your side and will explain everything that is happening. They will do an assessment, ask you about symptoms you experience if any, and review your medications.
The technician will have you sit in a chair while they hook you up to equipment. Twelve electrode patches will be placed on your chest and torso. If you have hair on your chest, small areas may need to be shaved for the electrodes to adhere properly. Wires will be attached to the electrodes in order to monitor your heart rate and EKG. They will be connected by these EKG leads to a Stress Test machine to record the electrical activity of your heart. A resting EKG and blood pressure are recorded. You will be monitored by the technician throughout the procedure.
You will be seen by the Cardiologist who will also do an assessment. Your physician will ask you to sign a consent form, which legally permits your physician to perform your procedure. You will be helped onto the exercise treadmill and the physician will do your testing.
You will start out slowly. The speed and incline will increase at certain times to make your heart work harder. Your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored throughout the test. The Cardiologist will be monitoring your progress and the EKG for any changes. You will be asked if you have any discomfort while you are walking. The test will stop when you have exercised as much as you can, when the doctor has enough information about your heart or when you experience any symptoms. The physician pays particular attention to the heart rate, blood pressure, changes in the EKG pattern, irregular heart rhythm, and the patient's appearance and symptoms. The treadmill is stopped when the patient achieves a target heart rate of 85% of the maximal heart rate predicted for the patient's age; you have exercised as much as you can; when the doctor has enough information about your heart or when you experience any symptoms. If you develop significant chest discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness, an unsteady gait, or if the EKG shows alarming changes or serious abnormal heart rhythm; it may also be stopped if the blood pressure (BP) rises or falls beyond acceptable limits However, if the patient is doing extremely well at peak exercise, the treadmill test may be continued further.
If any problems are encountered during the procedure the Cardiologist will speak to your physician and take appropriate steps to treat your symptoms.
After Your Procedure
Once you are done exercising you will rest for a short period. When your vital signs return to your baseline you will be allowed to get dressed and leave. You will be able to resume all your routine medications after the test. There are no restrictions.
Your technician is not permitted to discuss the results with you. The Cardiologist will interpret the results and send a report to the physician that ordered the test. They will be reviewed with you at your next physician’s office visit. If your test was ordered STAT by your physician, the technician will alert the doctor and clerical staff to see that your doctor receives your results as soon as possible.
Your time in the Cardiac Diagnostic Center will vary depending on the procedure you had done, how well you are doing.
Thank-you for allowing the Cardiac Diagnostic Lab to care for you during your procedure.