As you will be exercising to your maximum level, it is possible that the test may cause some muscle discomfort (usually in your legs), shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea. If you have any of these symptoms, they usually start to get better soon after you have finished exercising. You may have muscle tiredness or soreness for a day or so after the test. Gentle exercise, such as a short walk, and drinking plenty of water after the test can help with muscle soreness.
Exercise tests are quite safe procedures, and the risk of side effects is the same as doing mild exercise. The number of patients that have complications during the test is low, but the test does carry a risk. Your breathing, heart rate and rhythm will be monitored closely during and after exercise. The test is often supervised by a Respiratory Consultant or Consultant Anaesthetist. Possible complications are listed on the next page. These have been worked out from studies on patients who have had this test.
Uncommon (1-10 people in 1000, one person in a village)
Something happening which means you would have to go to hospital, such as an unusual blood pressure measurement or a change in your heart rhythm.
Rare (1-10 people in 10,000, one person in a small town)
Having a major cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Very rare (less than 1 person in 10,000, less than one person in a large town)
Death - although very rare, some complications can be serious and even cause death (2-5 in 100,000 tests).
For most people, the benefit of having the test, outweighs the risk. If you have any specific concerns about your own risk performing this test, please contact the department on 01709421780 or discuss them with your Physiologist/Consultant before the test.