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Hamilton Health Sciences
Epilepsy Program
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Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)

Unit Overview

The EMU consists of hospital beds dedicated to monitoring patients with epilepsy and suspected epilepsy, using simultaneous recording of video and EEG over extended periods of time. The multidisciplinary team including Epileptologist(s), EEG Technologist(s), Registered Nurses, a Neuropsychologist, and Social Worker(s)/ Psychiatrist/ Community Epilepsy Liason. The EMU is part of the comprehensive epilepsy program. 

What is a Video Electroencephalography (VEEG)?

Video EEG uses special equipment and a camera to record your child’s brain waves and behavior at the same time. The purpose of video EEG is to monitor your child’s brain waves and behavior during the events (seizures or episodes) that your child is having. If your child is having different types of events, we like to record examples of each.

 The results of the test will help the doctor:

  • Learn whether your child is having epileptic seizures or other episodes

  • Find out the type(s) of seizures and where they begin in the brain

  • Decide the best way to manage your child’s condition

A doctor specialized in the management of epilepsy will decide how long your child needs to be monitored. This can be from several hours to days, depending on how many seizures or episodes your child is having.

Before the Video EEG:

  • Make plans so that one parent or another caregiver can stay with your child at the hospital for the entire length of the test. We encourage you to make arrangements for someone else to care for your other children. Brothers, sisters, or friends may plan short visits.

  • Wash your child’s hair. The hair must be clean and free of any hair products such as conditioner, hair spray, gel, wax, oil or mousse.

  • Your child can eat, drink, and take any prescribed medications before the VEEG, unless your doctor has given you other instructions.

  • Do not let your child drink or eat anything that contains caffeine. This means no cola or soda pop, energy drinks, hot chocolate, tea or coffee, or chocolate.

Find Us:

McMaster Children's Hospital is located at 1200 Main St. W., Hamilton, ON, L8N 3Z5.

Where the VEEG is done:

For Daytime VEEG- Come to 4U:

  • If your child is to be be monitored for part or all of a day, come to 4U (fourth floor between yellow and blue sections)

For Overnight VEEG- Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)- Come to Patient Registration:

  • If monitoring will be longer than one day, your child will be admitted to the hospital.

  • Come to Patient Registration, located near the main entrance to the hospital on the second floor of the hospital. Your child will be registered and then admitted to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) on 3C (3rd floor, red section)

Hospital Map

What Happens When We Arrive?

Please check in with the Business Clerk at the reception desk. The Business Clerk will let the team know that you have arrived.

Referrals:

Your Neurologist will submit the referral for VEEG to the EMU co-ordinator Referrals will be triaged by an Epileptologist- a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy diagnosis and management, who determines the appropriate techniques for monitoring. The EMU co-ordinator books the appointments for Video EEG monitoring, and will inform you about the appointment.

Changing Your Appointment:

Please contact us as soon as possible if you need to change or cancel your child’s appointment. 

Important:

If your child has a communicable disease such as Chicken Pox or has been in contact with someone with Chicken Pox, please call the clinic before you come to the hospital

What You Should Bring to the Hospital and Preparing for your Child’s Video EEG:

  • Your child’s Ontario Health Card- The Ministry of Health and Long-term Care requires us to validate your Health Card at every clinic visit

  • Your child’s medications in their labeled containers

  • Shirts, tops, and pajamas that open in the front. Your child will not be able to put clothes over his or her head while the EEG equipment is in place

  • Activities to keep your child busy during the test, such as movies, music, homework, books, crafts, toys, or games. You may bring in MP3, CD, or portable DVD players with earphones

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

Disclaimer: Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) offers Google Translate to better facilitate access for our community. However, HHS makes no claims regarding the accuracy of translations. Any and all health information should be verified by a health care professional.