A stress test is performed to determine if a patient is suffering from heart disease. A doctor or trained technician performs the test.
What Happens During the Exercise Stress Test?
- Firstly the technician will gently clean 10 small areas on the chest and place small, flat, sticky patches called electrodes on them. They’ll be attached to an electrocardiogram monitor -- called an EKG -- that charts the heart's electrical activity during the test.
- Before starting the exercise, the technician will perform an EKG to measure the heart rate at rest. He’ll also take the blood pressure.
- Patient will begin to exercise by walking on a treadmill or pedalling a stationary bicycle.
- The rate of exercise or degree of difficulty will gradually increase.
- Patient will be asked to exercise until they feel exhausted.
- It’s normal for the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and perspiration to increase during the test. The lab personnel will watch for anything on the EKG monitor that suggests the test should be stopped.
- After the test, patient will walk or pedal slowly for a couple of minutes to cool down. Patient’s heart rate, blood pressure and EKG will continue to be monitored until the levels begin returning to normal.
- Exercise time is usually between 7 and 12 minutes.