Video EEG Services

Epilepsy can present itself in many ways, so our treatment is individualized as much as possible. Lurie Children’s Epilepsy Division provides an advanced approach made possible by a state-of-the-art imaging and monitoring system that records visual images of children as they play.

The same video monitoring system is also used while a child is having an electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG is a test that shows normal and abnormal electrical activity in the brain, and it can also give information about specific types of seizure disorders.

Our doctors perform EEGs while using video monitoring to help link the child's brain electrical patterns to the physical seizure. This multifaceted measurement gives us the building blocks for the best and most personalized treatment for your child.

Approach

Our EEG technicians will use precise measurements on your child’s scalp to apply the electrodes, which are the small node-like conductors that transmit your child’s brain signals to our computers. Applying electrodes won’t hurt your child, but it will take a while; many children get impatient and find it hard to sit still for the full time period.

For most children, we use paste to adhere the electrodes. Some children may require collodion, which is applied by blowing air through the electrodes. This helps the glue adhere to the scalp. Pregnant women should not be present in the room while collodion is applied.

After children are attached to the equipment, they’re connected by a cord and can move around as long as they’re in view of the camera. Your child will not be sedated during the procedure.

The adhesive on the electrodes may irritate sensitive skin on scalps, particularly if they are connected longer than 23 hours. This is especially true for children with allergies or eczema.

Preparing for an EEG

The night before the EEG, wash your child’s hair with regular shampoo to decrease the risk of irritation from the electrodes. Do not apply conditioner or any other hair products and do not put the hair into braids or pigtails so that the hook-up goes more smoothly.

If your child is staying overnight, they should be in shirts or pajamas that button in front because we can’t change soiled clothing after the electrodes are in place.

If your child is on the ketogenic diet or another special diet, please bring the needed food and inform the nurse in the epilepsy monitoring unit before admission. Your child can eat breakfast before coming to the monitoring unit.

If you are bringing your child for a daytime study, please put them to bed as late as possible the night before the test and wake them up as early as possible so they’re tired the day of the test. EEGs have better results when children nap during the test.

You should give your child all of their regular medications unless otherwise specified by your doctor.

After overnight studies, your child will probably be disconnected from the equipment between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. the following morning and then discharged.

Appointments

Parents are responsible for contacting insurance companies for pre-authorization of services.

If your child has a fever or is sick (with a cold, for example), please call before the test to confirm the appointment. Our physicians review the entire EEG study, and you can call your referring physician to make an appointment seven days after the study to review the results. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.

It’s very important that you come on time. If you’re late, you may need to wait to be seen or your visit may need to be rescheduled. If you think you’re going to be late, please call 312.227.3540 to let us know.