The Problems With Malfunctioning Heart Monitors

Heart monitors are an important type of medical equipment because they help keep track of a person's heart rate and gauge problems that they may be experiencing. Unfortunately, these monitors may malfunction and put the health of the person at risk. Here is what needs to be known about this common and problematic condition.

Purpose Of A Heart Monitor

Heart monitors are designed to track a person's heart rate and to use the information to diagnose health problems. They can be used during doctor's appointments to track a heart rate or may be worn by a person constantly if they experience rhythm problems. The latter heart rate monitors are particularly important because they can warn a person if a problem is developing as it happens.

But these items are just like any other type of medical equipment: they can malfunction. While not common, these malfunctions can be very problematic for a person's health. Understanding these malfunctions (and how to read them) is crucial to avoiding these dangers.

The Dangers Of This Problem

First of all, it is a good idea to understand just how problematic this problem can be. For example, if a person is wearing a malfunctioning heart monitor while experiencing a heart attack, they may talk themselves out of seeing a doctor because the heart monitor shows their heart rate to be healthy. Non-diagnosed heart attacks are very dangerous because time is of the essence and any delay could result in serious complications and even death.

Or if a person who has heart rhythm problems has a malfunctioning heart monitor, they may miss the warning signs until it is too late and they are experiencing dangerous arrhythmia. As a result, it is very important to understand signs of a malfunctioning heart monitor and when it is time to call a medical equipment supplier to get a new one.

Wave Readings And What They Mean

When a heart rate monitor is used, it will create a waveform that indicates either a problem with a person's heart or a problem with the machine. For example, some wave forms will indicate anxiety and seizures that mean severe heart problems are occurring. However if the person is not experiencing these symptoms or suffering from a racing heart, it could indicate dirty or corroded connections or wires.

Other problems that could be indicated include poor electrode application, dry electrode gel, short-circuit in the wires, interference from other electrical items, static electricity, poor room humidity, gain too highly set, and malfunctioning electronics. Talking to a medical equipment provider like about these problems is crucial to diagnosing and managing them properly.