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Video EEG

What is a Video EEG?

Video EEG monitoring records your child's brain waves and a video of your child's actions. This test is often ordered when there is a concern about abnormal movements, behaviors, or seizures.

This test is done in the hospital and your doctor may schedule it to last a few hours to a few days, depending on how many seizures or events your child is having. The test is painless and safe.

EEG technicians will glue 26 electrodes to your child's head. There is one wire on the chest to monitor the heart rate. The electrodes form a pony tail of wires that will go to a box. The box is kept in a bag that you or your child carries. This connects by a cord to the wall.

Preparing Your Child for the Test

  1. Explain the test to your child.
  2. Shampoo your child's hair well the night before the test.
  3. Do not use any hair spray, mousse, or oil. Remove all hair extensions, pieces, or weaves.
  4. It is not necessary to shave your child's head prior to the test. This may actually make it more difficult to apply the electrodes.
  5. Unless your doctor tells you differently, your child may eat and take their medicines on the morning of admission. Bring your child's favorite toys, games, books, or other items to help them feel more comfortable. They can also do homework while having the test done. Your child will be in a private room. There is a TV and internet access. There is no DVD player in the room, but there are movies uploaded on the TV for you to watch.
  6. A staff person will not be in the room with your child. A parent / guardian must stay in the room with the child during the entire test. This includes staying overnight. Other family members and siblings may visit, but are not permitted to spend the night. Because the electrodes are attached to the head, we suggest your child wear a shirt that buttons or zips down the front. We have gowns available for your child to wear if needed.
You will need to reschedule your appointment if you child has:
  • Lice
  • Scabies
  • Fever over 100
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Been recently exposed to TB or chicken pox

During the Test

Staff will show your child how the test is done, and you may stay with your child the whole time. Some children have a hard time laying still while the electrodes are placed. If this is true for your child, we may ask for your help. We may also need to use a papoose to help your child lay still only while the electrodes are placed. We cannot use medicine to help calm your child during this time because that may alter the results of the test.

After the electrodes are in place, your child will be awake and may move freely around the room. Because of the video portion of the test, your child may not leave the room. They may eat and do other activities in their room.

If seizure medications are held, your child may need to have an IV placed. This is so we can give seizure medications quickly for a prolonged seizure or seizure clusters.

After the Test

After the test, the electrodes are removed with acetone, which dissolves the glue. There will still be some white flakes of glue that you can wash out at home. When the test is finished, your child can play, eat and go to school as before.

Some children’s skin becomes irritated by the electrodes. This is more common in infants, those with sensitive skin, or for children whose test lasts a few days. If this happens, you can apply Aquaphor to the red areas or Neosporin to any open areas. Call your doctor if you notice the area is red or has any drainage.

A doctor reads the test (or tracing) and sends the results of the test to your child's doctor or clinic. You can call your doctor about a week after going home to get the results of the study.

Last Updated 05/2023

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