It is the policy of Cardio Vascular Services (CVS) to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its clients and maintain a standard above the guidelines set by the Australian and New Zealand Cardiac Society.
What is Exercise Stress Testing?
Exercise stress testing involves measuring the performance of your heart whilst you undergo exercise of gradually increasing intensity on a treadmill.
What is it used for?
Exercise Stress Testing is used as a very effective screening tool for patients who may have coronary artery disease.
It may also be used in ongoing patient management, finding the cause of palpitations and for unexplained shortness of breath.
What does the test involve?
ECG electrodes are attached across your chest to monitor the electrical activity of your heart throughout the test and a cuff is applied to your arm to monitor your blood pressure.
You will then be required to walk on the treadmill. Initially the speed is set slow with little or no slope.
Progressively the treadmill will increase in speed and incline during the test.
Throughout the test a physician will be present to monitor your readings, assess your performance and to minimise the chance of any complications occurring.
The test is stopped if you develop symptoms that would prevent you from continuing exercise or at the request of the doctor.
If at any time during the test you are feeling unwell, please report the symptom.
What are the risks?
Treadmill Stress Testing is a low risk and non-invasive procedure, there is however a small but definite chance of complications which you should be aware of. These would be no different to performing strenuous exertion at home or in a gym.
Minor side effects resulting from stress testing include dizziness or fainting, asthma, leg pain or minor heart rhythm disturbances. These are usually temporary and quickly go at the end of the test.
Serious potential complications include a major disturbance of heart rhythm requiring resuscitation, development of heart failure, prolonged angina (heart pain), or a heart attack (Risk ~ 2 or 3 in 10,000 tests) From these complications arises the very small risk of mortality occurring (Risk~ 1 in 10,000 tests). The risks both of complications may be higher in patients who are already known to have severe coronary disease.
The doctor performing the test is aware of these risks and will have taken them into account before deciding to commence any test. Please note that emergency equipment and trained personnel are available to deal with any situation that may arise.
Reports are provided to your referring doctor within three to four working days, if you wish to obtain a copy please ask permission from your referring doctor.