Video EEG Services

Lurie Children’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit provides an advanced treatment approach made possible by state-of-the-art imaging, EEG trending software and Video EEG diagnostic systems. Video EEG Services are provided for the Epilepsy Center and Neurocritical Care Program.

Our specialized pediatric epileptologists will interpret 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.


EEG Connection Process

The Neurodiagnostic Technologist 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 Video EEG system. Applying electrodes will not hurt your child. The EEG connection process takes about 1 hour.

For most children, we use paste to adhere the electrodes. Some children may require collodion application, which is applied utilizing a portable air compressor. This helps the glue to dry quickly and adhere to the scalp. 

After the EEG setup is complete, the patient EEG head box is connected by a cord to the Video EEG system. The cord is 30 feet long which provides ample length for the patient to move around in their room 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.

Types of Video EEGs

At Lurie Children's, we offer three different types of video EEGs: overnight studies, in-house outpatient short studies and at-home ambulatory studies. See below for instructions for these studies. 

What to Expect

Your child will be admitted to the hospital. A nurse will be assigned to care for your child. A qualified EEG technologist will place the electrodes and monitor your child’s EEG recording.

Medication will be provided by pharmacy, but please bring all your home medications as some medications are not available through our hospital formulary. In this case, we will use your home medicines. This includes rescue medication. If your child is taking a brand-name medication we will continue to use your home medication while at the hospital. The inpatient pharmacy dispenses generic mediations only. Medication will be administrated by RN and medication administration charges apply. 

Sleep Deprivation Instructions 

Not applicable for overnight studies. 

COVID-19 Testing

All inpatients require COVID-19 testing at the time of admission. Your child will be provided with the testing upon his/her arrival to the Epilepsy Monitoring unit. Your child will remain in isolation until test comes back negative.

Test Completion 

  • Most patients in the EMU will be able to go home early in the morning, generally between 6 a.m.-8 a.m.
  • Please allow 5 business days for your physician to receive a final report of the diagnostic test.
  • Your referring physician is responsible for discussing those results and plan of care with you. If you do not hear from your referring provider, please plan on making a follow up call to obtain results.
  • Final test results will be forwarded to the referring physician who in turn will provide results directly to you.

What to Expect 

Your child will check in and out during the same day. Because of this, you will care for your child in the same way you do at home. You will NOT have a nurse assigned to care for your child and must bring/administer all medications and supplies from home. A qualified EEG technologist will place the electrodes and monitor your child’s EEG recording.

Medications 

Parent/Caregiver must bring all daily medications. This includes Tylenol or Advil. For your child’s safety, it is a requirement for you to bring rescue medication such as Diastat or Intranasal Versed. If your child has convulsive seizures, not having rescue medications with you for the study will necessitate rescheduling the study.

Medication will be administrated by parent/caregiver on usual home schedule, and medication administration charges will not apply. 

Sleep Deprivation Instructions

Please attempt to sleep deprive your child. For example, delay bedtime by 2-3 hours and wake your child earlier than usual in the morning.

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing is not required for an in-house outpatient study; however, your child and the parent coming with child must not have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever or chills (subjective or 100+ temp)
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • New or complete loss of smell or taste
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Vomiting or diarrhea without a known cause

Results

  • Please plan on leaving the hospital by the end of the 4 hours.
  • Final test results will be forwarded to the referring physician who in turn will provide results directly to you.
  • Please allow 5 business days for your physician to receive a final report of the diagnostic test.

What is an Ambulatory Video EEG test?

Ambulatory Video EEG is a test that records brain activity while your child is at home. This test uses a special recording unit that is the size of a tablet and a handheld video camera. It allows your child to go about their normal routine while the EEG is being recorded. 

**Video recording is required for this test. If the video is not turned on, the reading physician may not be able to accurately interpret the test, and you may be required to repeat the test.**

Why is an Ambulatory Video EEG needed?

An Ambulatory Video EEG helps the providers determine if your child is having abnormal activity in the brain at different times of the day and night. This includes while your child is doing normal daily activities such as eating, playing, and sleeping.

How is the test done?

  • A specially trained EEG Technologist will apply the electrodes to your child’s head, which will take about 90 minutes from start to finish.
  • Your child will be asked to lie down on a stretcher or bed.
  • The EEG Technologist will measure your child’s head with a measuring tape. They will mark 30 locations on your child’s head with a washable pencil.
  • Your child’s hair does not need to be cut or shaved. It should be clean and free of hair product. The EEG Technologist will rub a sandy cleanser on the places where the electrodes will attach before putting them on. 
  • Small circular shaped electrodes will be placed on your child’s scalp using collodion glue.
  • The electrodes are connected to a small EEG computer machine that is carried in a small backpack.
  • Your child’s head will be wrapped in gauze and a soft stocking cap to protect the electrode wires.

How do I prepare my child?

  • Your child’s hair must be clean and dry. Please avoid styling products, oils and braids. These make it difficult for the electrodes to stick in place.  Using these products before the test may delay the application of the electrodes or need to reschedule the test.
  • Give medicines as scheduled, unless your child’s healthcare provider gives you different directions.
  • Dress your child in clothing that buttons or zips down the front. Please do not have your child wear clothes that need to be pulled over their head.  This is to prevent the EEG electrodes from being pulled off.
  • Plan to be with your child at all time during the EEG recording. This is important because you will be asked to record all episodes your child has on the Event log and press the Event button.
  • If your child is going to attend school, discuss the plan with the schoolteacher and nurse.

What will happen the day of the ambulatory EEG connection?

  • You will arrive at Lurie Children’s, 225 East Chicago Avenue, and stop by the second-floor concierges’ area to receive a visitor pass.
  • You will then go up to Floor 19, follow the signage towards the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.
  • You will check in at the registration desk in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.
  • After the electrodes are put on your child, the EEG Technologist will perform activation procedures such as opening and closing eyes, photic stimulation, and hyperventilation if clinically applicable.
  • The EEG Technologist will review home care instructions and the date and time for the return appointment to have the equipment removed.
  • You will be given instructions about how to keep the electrodes intact and how to push the event button.
  • You will also be given instructions about how to complete the event log and the episode description sheet. These documents will help the Technologist and Doctor who read and interpret the computer data to make an accurate report.

What do I need to do when we are at home?

  • Do not allow any of the equipment to get wet, bent, pulled or unplugged.
  • Do not allow your child to shower, take a bath, swim or participate in any type of sports.
  • Do not allow your child to chew gum. This may cause an error or “artifact’ on the recording.
  • Do not allow your child to remove the stocking cap.
  • As much as possible, try to limit or prevent your child from scratching their head.

Record your child’s episodes

  • Turn on video camera: limit turning video off to bathroom and other personal activities.
  • Stay with your child and complete the event log sheet.
  • Push the event marker if they have an event/episode.
  • Write the date, time and a description of the event/episode on the event log sheet.
  • Write additional times on the log sheet such as when your child is going to sleep, waking up, eating, playing, etc.

What do I do if an electrode falls off during the study?

If an electrode falls off, write on the log sheet when it happened and let the Technologist know when you return to the lab. This is not considered an emergency.

Who do I call if I have questions while my child is having the test?

  • If it is an emergency, call 911.
  • For questions about the equipment, what to do while you are at home, or other concerns about the test, call us during business hours:
    • Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 312.227.4018
    • Saturday & Sunday: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 312.227.4019.
    • If problems arise outside of business hours, call us back when regular business hours resume.

What happens when the test is over?

  • On the day your child’s test is over, you will return to the Epilepsy Unit to have the electrodes and headbox removed.
  • The Technologist will remove the electrodes with a collodion remover.
  • You will be asked to give the EEG Tech the completed event log.
  • After the test, your child will need a bath or shower as soon as they get home.
  • To remove left over glue from your child’s hair:
    • Saturate hair with lotion or conditioner
    • Comb the lotion or conditioner through your child’s hair with a fin toothed comb
    • Wait 5 to 10 minutes
    • Wash your child’s hair as usual

When can we expect results of the EEG?

  • You will not be able to get the results on the day of the test. The EEG Tech cannot give you any specific information about the test results.
  • The EEG is read by a Clinical Neurophysiologist who reviews the EEG and video recordings along with the descriptions of the events that you wrote in the event log.
  • Please allow 2 weeks for your physician to receive a final report of the diagnostic test.

For any additional information, call 312.227.4018.

Preparing for an EEG

  • The night before the video EEG, wash your child’s hair with regular shampoo. DO NOT apply conditioner or other hair products. No braids, pig tails or hair extensions please. The EEG technologist must be able to reach your child’s scalp for proper placement of electrodes with paste.
  • Your child may have breakfast prior to arrival.
  • Morning medication should be given unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • Please have your child wear a button-down shirt or pajama set. Otherwise, we may be unable to change soiled clothes once the electrodes are in place.
  • For daytime studies with no overnight stay planned, please attempt to sleep deprive your child. For example, delay bedtime by 2 -3 hours and wake him/her earlier than usual in the morning.

Special Diets/Medication/Equipment

  • If your child is on the ketogenic diet or other special formula, please bring enough for the duration of your stay.
  • Please call us at 312.227.3540 to inform us of any special needs your child may have such as tracheostomy, home ventilator support, g-tubes, feeding pump, etc.
  • Please bring all your child’s special equipment including airway support device, g-tube extension, trach emergency bag and any other special materials used at home.
  • Please feel free to bring your child’s clean comfort items, such as washed blankets, stuffed animals, or appropriate handheld video games.

Other Important Information

  • If you or your child has been exposed to any contagious illnesses such as chicken pox or has any signs of illness or infection, please call 312.227.3540 prior to arrival.
  • One parent/caregiver is expected to stay with the patient AT ALL TIMES for the duration of the visit to help identify seizure activity or events of concern.
  • Please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your child’s appointment.
  • Please be aware that your child’s electrode placement may take up to one hour. If you are running late, please call 312.227.4074.  We appreciate on-time arrivals.
  • For inpatient stays, your child will be provided with meals. Guardians may bring their own meals from home and store in refrigerator available in the Family Great Room. Guardians may also purchase meals from cafeteria or room service.
  • If you are using Transportation Services through your insurance, please notify staff upon admission of your scheduled pick-up time so that we can coordinate your discharge accordingly.
  • For information on parking options, click here
  • Insurance benefits are very different from one policy to another. You may want to verify that your policy provides coverage for video EEGs – The Epilepsy office staff will contact your insurance to assist in collecting the necessary pre-authorization for inpatient stays. Please keep in mind that even if an insurance pre-approves a service this does not mean that the payment from insurance is a guarantee. Payment of a claim is determined once the insurance company reviews clinical information after the service is rendered. Final determination for payment by and insurance company can take from 6-8 weeks. Communicating directly with your insurance company is important and we encourage you to follow up with them.
  • Unless your child is prescribed the FDA approved Epidiolox or is an active participant in an IRB-approved study at Lurie Children’s or other institution, no marijuana derivatives are permitted on the hospital premises. The hospital is required to follow Federal law. Please do not bring these materials to the hospital.

Please call the Epilepsy office if you have questions or social concerns related to this appointment at 312.227.3540

Epilepsy Monitoring Program Accreditation

The Epilepsy Monitoring Program has earned accreditation by the Long Term Monitoring Laboratory Accreditation Board of ABRET LAB-LTM by meeting strict standards and is to be recognized as a place where patients and physicians can have confidence they are receiving quality diagnostics.

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