Can you explain event recorder vs. loop monitor?

  1. Hi all, OB/GYN RN here...

    Can someone tell me the difference between an event recorder and a loop monitor? They seem similar to me. Is one continually attached and recording while the other is intermittent? Can a pt shower while the monitor is attached? Sorry if my questions seem obtuse- it's been a long time since I took cardiac in school!

    If someone could give me the basic info, pros/cons, etc. I'd be grateful- thanks in advance!
    Last edit by daisybaby on Nov 14, '07 : Reason: Edited thread title
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   All_Smiles_RN
    They are very similar devices. You get sent home with one for a few weeks up to one month to monitor for arrythmias. You wear a loop monitor continuously other than showering. When you feel lightheaded, dizzy, etc, you press a button and the unit will save the previous few minutes of your heart rhythm. When you're done, you'll send the loop monitor back to your physician so the saved data can be analyzed. The event recorder, from what I understand, is not worn continuously. When you experience symptoms, you connect the event monitor and press a record button. You then send the info each time you save it over the phone to be analyzed. I think the event recorder has the limitation of not being able to catch all arrythmias. They can be fleeting and by the time you get hooked up, it may have passed. The disadvantage to the loop monitor is having to wear it most the time. But you're more likely to catch the arrythmia. HTH.
    Last edit by All_Smiles_RN on Nov 19, '07
  4. by   dianah
    i was a little confused by the two at first (especially since we implant and explant loop recorders in our cath lab).

    i came across this informative site when i did a search for your question:

    quote below is from the site:

    event (transtelephonic) recorders
    when symptoms presumed to be due to a rhythm disturbance occur less frequently than once during a single 24- or 48-hour period, an event recorder may be used. event recorders are small devices capable of recording short episodes of ecg which are not worn at all times. when you have symptoms, you attach the device to your body temporarily, usually by putting on bracelets that attach to the recorder or by pressing the device itself against your chest. you then press a button on the device to start a recording of your heart rhythm. the recording lasts for up to a minute. the electrocardiogram that is recorded is transmitted over the telephone to the electrophysiologist's office for interpretation. the event monitor is lent to patients for one month at a time with instructions regarding its use. event monitors are ideal for recording sustained rhythms that allow the patient the time and the capacity to capture the event.
    continuous loop recorder
    this is an ecg recorder which records only a few minutes worth of the electrocardiogram at a time on a computer chip. it continuously records new information and discards the oldest information, so that at any time it has in memory only the last few minutes of your electrocardiogram. when you have symptoms, you can "freeze" the recording in the device's memory. the frozen recording can then be transmitted over the telephone to the physician's office for him or her to review. since the loop recorder is continuously refreshing its memory, the loop recorder can be carried for long periods. loop recorders are ideal for capturing brief episodes when it takes too long to apply an event recorder or for capturing ecg recordings of episodes that are associated with incapacitating symptoms such as syncope.
    implantable loop recorder (ilr)
    the ilr is a continuous loop recorder that is implanted in the body under the skin. like a continuous loop recorder applied to the body surface, the ilr is useful for diagnosing infrequent rhythm problems associated with incapacitating symptoms, such as syncope. no external electrodes or power source is required. the patient or a bystander uses a small hand-held activator which communicates through the skin with the ilr to "freeze" the ecg surrounding the event. the stored data is then retrieved by the physician using a second computer to communicate with the ilr through the skin. the device can be reset to record subsequent events. minimally invasive subcutaneous placement of the ilr in the chest area can be performed with local anesthesia, sometimes even in the doctor's office.
  5. by   P_RN
    Just found this :heartbeat. But I was intrigued by that site saying the recorders were "lent." I was given one (translation I paid for it) when I left after my pacer was implanted. I have never had to call in a report, and am not really sure I remember how although it seems fairly simple.
    Cardiologist/physiologists are supposed to call me every 4 months or so for a check, but so far I have needed to see a doc more often....pre op checks etc, not problems. Hopefully I will never need it.