Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

If you've been diagnosed with epilepsy, your physician may recommend you undergo video electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring to help determine the type of seizures you’re experiencing, as well as to determine the region of your brain that is generating the activity. This information will help your physician determine the best treatment option for you. 

What is Video EEG? 

Video EEG is a form of hospital-based monitoring that tests your brainwaves on an EEG and a video simultaneously. It typically lasts two to five days, though in some cases it may be longer.

During the recording, you may feel sleep-deprived. Additionally, any seizure-prevention medications you’re on may be reduced or discontinued to allow seizures to occur more frequently. This allows us to gather the most quality data to help us determine a treatment option for you.

Seizures pose a serious injury risk. Your safety is our primary concern, which is why we perform video EEG sessions in the hospital to minimize risk.

How Does Video EEG Work?

An EEG monitors electrical impulses in the brain and records the brain's activity via computer. The electrical activity of the brain is detected by small metal disks that are glued to the scalp with a dissolvable adhesive.

The wires from the electrodes are attached to a small device worn in a waist pack. Brain wave activity information is transmitted from the device to a computer. The monitoring unit team regularly watches your EEG recordings on this computer in a nearby room. There is also a video recording that is continuously monitored to assist in alerting your nurse when seizure activity develops.

During Your Recording

During the recording you will be confined to the monitoring room with a private bathroom for your use. Although most of the activity within the room is recorded, every effort is made to respect your privacy. For example, the camera is movable and will be turned away when you take a bath or change clothes. No video recording is taken in the bathroom.

It’s important to remember your role in the monitoring process. Follow these guidelines for a safe and successful monitoring session:

  • Stay in bed unless you are up with nursing staff as requested by the physician. 
  • Call a healthcare team member before getting out of bed or up from a chair for anything. 
  • Keep side rails of the bed up and pads in place for safety and protection
  • Bring things from home to keep yourself occupied during the recording. There will be a TV in your room, but you may find other activities more entertaining. 
  • You may be instructed by your monitoring team to push a button to indicate when you are experiencing seizure symptoms. If you are unaware of when a seizure occurs, an adult family member will be asked to assist.

After Your Recording

When video-EEG recording is completed, the EEG leads are removed with acetone (solution similar to nail polish remover which dissolves the glue). After the EEG electrodes are removed, you may be permitted to wash your hair in the shower. Apply conditioner to your wet hair after washing it. Keep the cream rinse in your hair for about ten minutes to soften the glue. Comb through your hair and then rinse it to help remove the remaining glue particles. The glue may continue to flake from your hair for a few days or through several shampoos.

Your physician may order additional tests once the monitoring is complete and may discuss the preliminary results and treatment plans with you while you are in the hospital. The doctor may also arrange a follow-up appointment for final discussion of the results and recommendations.