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Appointment date/time: ___________
Park in the American Family Children’s Hospital Ramp. Take the elevators to the 1st floor. Check in at the Guest Depot.
An EEG (electroencephalogram) is a test to see how your brain is sending messages to your body. Before this test, an EEG technologist, or tech for short, will meet with you and your child.
Video EEG Monitoring
Video EEG monitoring helps us to find out if your child is having seizures. It also helps us to find out the kind of seizures your child is having. During the test, a camera records your child’s behavior. This is paired with an EEG reading of your child’s brain wave activity. Sometimes movements may look like seizures, but they are not. If your child has seizures, this test helps us learn how strong the seizures are and how often they happen.
It also helps decide if your child is having silent seizures. These are seizures that do not have any physical signs, but changes can be seen on the EEG.
This test takes place in the hospital and can take between 1–5 days to finish.
Your child will be admitted to the hospital the day of the test.
Please call your insurance company to find out if this test and the hospital stay are covered. Some insurance companies do not cover it. Others need a referral from your primary doctor first. If you need a referral, ask your doctor for the referral letter right away. It often takes insurance companies 2-4 weeks to decide on coverage. They will let you know what they decide. Feel free to contact the Admissions Information desk at (608) 263-8770 if you have any questions or need help.
Before the Test
Talk to your child about what to expect ahead of time. We encourage questions.
Bring a favorite pillow, blanket, stuffed animal, game, or toy to comfort your child. We have games and toys, but it helps your child if you bring familiar items such as schoolwork, books, games, movies, hobbies or art supplies.
Bring clothes to wear during the day and pajamas for night.
Your child’s shirt or blouse should button or zip in the front. No T-shirts please. Tops that pull over the head cannot fit around the EEG wires.
Wash your child’s hair the night before the test. Please do not use conditioner.
If your child's hair can be braided or pulled into pigtails or ponytail, please do so.
To get the best test results, your child’s medicine dose may be decreased. If your child’s doctor wants to decrease the medicine dose, it will be done during the hospital stay. Most often, medicine doses are not decreased before your child comes to the hospital unless your doctor or nurse has told you to do so. *We may have your child go without sleep to start a seizure. This would be done during the hospital stay.
Sensory concerns. If your child has sensory issues, has difficulty with their head being touched (such as during haircuts), please let staff know before admission. We want this to be a positive experience for you and your child.
This test will likely not be a one-time event. To help prepare your child, please ask for a teaching sheet on vEEG from our Child Life Specialists.
Watch the YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQqJPFVfMPY
It is also helpful to learn about the sights and sounds involved with this test.
Plan to Stay with Your Child
One parent or caregiver over the age of eighteen years is required to stay with your child overnight and help us with the test.
If a parent or caregiver cannot stay, we cannot do the test. Only one parent or caregiver can stay in the hospital room. Other children can’t stay in the hospital room overnight. Please make other arrangements for that night. You may be asked to wake up a few times during the night. Please plan if you have a long drive home the next day. If your child’s test is expected to be several days, most families find it helpful to switch out caregivers at the bedside. Being confined to the bedside can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Please arrange for this switch ahead of time.
The Day of the Test
Check-in at the Guest Depot a half hour before the test is scheduled to begin. Next, check in at the Security office which is down the hall from the Guest Depot. We will then take you to your room.
Wires will be secured to your child’s head. Your child’s head will be wrapped with gauze to keep the wires from getting tangled or pulled off. It is hard for some children to sit still for this part of the test. You may be asked to hold your child until the gauze is wrapped around your child’s head. A child life specialist may be with us to help your child relax during wire placement. A neurologist will also see your child and take part in the evaluation.
A video camera is mounted in the ceiling of your room. It begins recording your child’s activity right away. The EEG tech watches your child and the EEG from another room. Your child may have an intravenous (IV) line placed in case IV seizure medicines are needed. There can be more severe and frequent seizures. If this happens, your child’s doctor will decide the best way to treat these seizures.
When your child feels a seizure coming on, tell the staff by pressing a button attached to the EEG fanny pack. You are also asked to press this button each time you see an “event” happening or about to happen. The nurse call light can also be pressed to call your nurse. Please let us know if the event you are seeing is typical or not. You can talk to the camera to let us know what you are seeing. Avoid standing between your child and the camera so all your child’s movements can be seen. This helps the doctor review and interpret the results.
Your child needs to stay in the room. A TV and radio with local channels and a DVD player are found in each room. You may sleep in your child’s room. Feel free to use your child’s bathroom and shower. A small
light is left on in the room all night, so your child can be seen clearly in the video. Your child will eat all meals in the room. You may bring your own food or buy food and bring it back to eat with your child. If you plan to leave the room for meals, let your child’s nurse know ahead of time. Plans will be made for staff to sit with your child. Please keep these meal breaks to no more than 30 minutes. Staff can help coordinate volunteers to further assist with break times.
When the test has finished, the wires are removed. Nursing staff or our cosmetologist from the Positive Image Center can help remove glue residue that may still be there after the wires are removed. The neurology team needs to see your child before you leave. You also are given a written discharge plan by the nurse before you leave.
After the Test
Your child’s seizure medicine will be started again before going home. Before your discharge or when you get home, schedule a clinic visit to talk about the test results with your neurologist. Reports are most often ready in 2 weeks.
Who to Call
If you have any questions, please call (608) 890-6500 and ask to speak to the nurse who helped with setting up the test and admission. If you need to reschedule the test, please call.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942 and ask for the Pediatric Neurology Clinic.