The cardiopulmonary services department provides medical testing for cardiology and pulmonary diagnostics.
Cardiology Diagnostic Testing
Please refer to our Heywood Heart & Vascular Center for a complete cardiology services listing.
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat. With each beat, an electrical impulse (or "wave") travels through the heart. This wave causes the muscle to squeeze and pump blood from the heart. A normal heartbeat on EKG will show the timing of the top and lower chambers.
An EKG gives two major kinds of information. First, by measuring time intervals on the EKG, a doctor can determine how long the electrical wave takes to pass through the heart. Finding out how long a wave takes to travel from one part of the heart to the next shows if the electrical activity is normal or slow, fast or irregular. Second, by measuring the amount of electrical activity passing through the heart muscle, a cardiologist may be able to find out if parts of the heart are too large or are overworked.
There is no pain or risk associated with having an EKG. There may be some minor discomfort when the EKG stickers are removed.
At Heywood Hospital EKG tests are generally done on outpatients in the Cardiopulmonary Department between the hours of 7 am and 3 pm Monday through Fridays (excluding holidays) and between 8 am and 12 noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
Outpatients are welcome to come in during hours other that listed above, but there may be a significant wait for a technician or therapist to assist you due to their other duties in the hospital with emergencies and inpatients.
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This is a common test which allows your physician to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. Images produced from your echocardiogram can help your physician diagnose valve problems, detect if the heart walls are moving, and review chamber valves. The standard procedure is non-invasive.
A Trans-esophageal echocardiogram or TEE, is a different way of performing an echocardiogram. This version of an echocardiogram uses a specialized probe that is entered into a patient’s esophagus. TEEs use high-frequency sound waves such as with ultrasounds to produce images. TEEs show the interior of heart valves and produce detailed images of a patient’s heart. A patient is under mild sedation during the procedure which lasts typically lasts between 20 and 30 minutes. Patients have a 1 hour recovery time post -procedure.
A stress test is used to gather information about how well your heart works during physical activity. During a stress test you will walk on a treadmill while your cardiologist will monitor your heartbeat, blood pressure and breathing.
Other types of testing
- Stress Echo
- Nuclear Stress Test
- Ultrasound event monitoring
Pulmonary diagnostics offers a wide variety of services to evaluate lung function and help determine and understand a patient's symptoms to help develop a treatment plan to improve health condition and improve overall breathing. The various types of testing include the measurement of air flow velocities, total lung capacity and how well your lungs transport oxygen into your blood stream.
Pulmonary Lung Function Testing
A complete pulmonary lung function test takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete. You will be asked to breathe into a tube called a spirometer that records the amount of air and the rate of air breathed over a specific period of time. The test may include before and after taking certain medications.
Pulmonary Services also offers patients support programs including Asthma Education and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. We also offer a Better Breathers Club.
For more information about Cardiopulmonary Services call (978) 630-6222.