View Full Version : How to get referred for an ECG?

17-04-12, 23:54

I have suffered with panic attacks for years, had palpitations and chest pains all the way through, but I seemed to recover for about 4 years and now my anxiety and panic has returned and all the palpitations and worry about having a heart condition!

My doctor has never referred me for an ECG. I have always wanted all the heart tests but felt too embarrassed to ask, as I feel like such a crazy hypochondriac.

Should I simply ask to be referred for tests? The doctor only ever listens to my heart and says it's fine, and sometimes I ask for the doctor to listen again if im worrying again! I would like to think that having the thorough tests would put my mind at rest! But is this a valid enough reason to be referred for tests I fear not!

Any help on how I can get heart tests would be greatly appreciated! Might I have to do to Bupa private healthcare if I can't get it done free on NHS?

I also know that c.r.y do screenings across the country but no clinics anywhere near me and none traveling near to me in the future either...


Deepest Blue
18-04-12, 00:06
Hi ya :)

I've had two of these in the past, but I was rushed to A&E because there was no time to wait?? It really felt like I was having a heart attack on both occasions.... It wasn't even the fact that I was in pain or had a very fast heart beat but it was the fact that I was grasping for breath and couldn't breathe properly that freaked me out and the people around me so to be sure I was rushed to emergency....

Both times that I was tested they found nothing wrong, no damage to the heart, no irregular beats. etc.... They initially put it down to weird stuff like hiatus hernia where excess acid would cause the problems... as I do suffer from a lot of heart burn too.. then they said it most certainly is related to my anxiety... but since taking Zantac for my heartburn and Propranolo for anxiety I've not had anything like it since...

Sorry if this doesnt answer your question because I've only ever needed to have an ECG in an emergency but I am sure you can get referred to if you asked your GP and said that you were very worried and that it would help ease your mind if you had one and it came out clear.... it's not an overly bcomplicated procedure, the only discomfort for me was that they had to shave the hair off my chest grrr.. but I am guessing you're female so you wont even have that problem.. lol

Take Care..

18-04-12, 00:18
You can ask your GP but he/she may refuse because they feel there is no need and of course there is the cost as well.

18-04-12, 00:21
Hi, all depends on your doctor, I have similar issues to you which I discussed with my doctor, she then said would it reassure u if we done an ECG which I replied yes so had one booked in the next day, like I say tho depends on your doctor xx

18-04-12, 09:29
You could ask firmly and politely for an ECG and if refused by the GP insist that it be put in your notes that you asked for one. Alternatively see another GP at your practice or health centre, and say how worried you are. (I think referral sometimes depends on your age, if you're 35 and up, ECG seems to be standard).

At my GPs they tend to send you off for an ECG - even if it's just for peace of mind. After all it takes only a couple of minutes! A couple of minutes is nothing compared to days and days of often needless worrying.

Like you say you can go to BUPA, as they offer all sorts of health checks as standard. Can't imagine it should cost too much - it's not a complicated test after all. And you could probably get it done very quickly!

Best of luck, NattyOne.

18-04-12, 10:05
Hi - don't see there would be any reason for your GP not to let you have an ECG - the nurse or health care assistant do them only takes around 10 minutes - don't think they are high cost for the the practice.

Try and put you foot down - don't be afraid of asking. If I want bloods I don't even go through the GP - go straight to the nurse and tell her want I want! It's all changed from how it used to be - not sure that's a good thing.

Hope you get sorted out.


18-04-12, 19:04
Thanks guys! Very reassuring and motivating!

I emailed Bupa about having an ECG, but they unfortunately replied to tell me they could do it as part of a standard health checkup for 400 which is ridiculously expensive if you ask me! They include other tests to of course, but my focus is on having an ECG.

I shall confront my doctor about having an ECG and be firm with my request!

Ive also signed up with CRY so they can inform me of any events in my area where they specifically give ECG's to people under 35.

Thanks for you help! I'll let you know how I get on!


20-04-12, 00:15
I went to the GP with health concerns (fast heart rate, palpitations) which she said sound like anxiety/panic attacks, but that if the symptoms continued, to come back. Well they did continue, I ended up in A&E where they ran a short ECG which was normal, but said to follow up with my GP. Went back and asked for a 24 hour ECG and an ECHO to rule out any heart problems which the GP agreed to, but I was also referred for CBT since my GP still believes it's just anxiety/panic attacks.

26-06-12, 20:08

I had my ECG in the end! The waiting list was so so long in my area had to wait months and that was VERY stressful.

I am happy with how it went, I got the all clear and the doctor said my results couldn't be "more normal" and I feel so reassured now. I have not had a palpitation since!!

Something just seems to of clicked from this experience, I realize my heart is healthy but Im not sure how? I just have a confidence now in the health of my heart. I do still compulsively check my pulse when something brings on a little anxiety but Im no longer convinced I might drop dead.

Its a working progress though. I know a relapse might happen but for now I am quite relaxed. I think as well starting yoga has helped with this also! Helped me feel that my body is strong and resilient and that I CAN take control!

02-07-12, 20:05
Glad you're reassured! Yoga has helped me a lot, too.

I've had a 24 hour ECG and I still don't feel very reassured on bad days, like today. I wish someone was there with a recording tape ready to attach to me so they could tell me what's going on!