Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
What Is an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit?
The epilepsy monitoring unit is
where continuous video
EEGs are performed. The video records the patient’s
physical activity, including seizures and what happens in the moments
before and after seizure. Simultaneously with the video recording, the
EEG records brain activity, allowing physicians to pinpoint the type
of seizure that is occurring and precisely locate the source.
The epilepsy monitoring unit is located on an inpatient floor at Banner
Good Samaritan Hospital. Each patient has a private room with a bed,
wireless Internet access and extra space for a caregiver, spouse or family
member. Epilepsy monitoring can take anywhere from 24 hours to several
days or a week. During that time, physicians, EEG technologists, nurses
and EMU technicians will be monitoring each patient’s activity to identify
when seizures begin and to keep patients safe and cared for as the seizures
Who Should Be Monitored?
As a general rule, prolonged EEG-video monitoring
should be obtained on any patient who continues to have frequent seizures
despite antiepileptic drugs.
What is the Purpose?
The purpose of EEG-video is to answer the following
- Are the episodes epileptic seizures?
- If not, what are they?
- If they are epileptic seizures, what type of
epilepsy is it?
- If the seizures are focal, from where are they arising?
What Can I Do
to Prepare for Admission?
- Take a shower and wash your hair the night
before or morning of admission. Your hair should be clean with no hair
products such as gels, sprays, mousse, or hair weaves. It is not necessary
to cut your hair or shave your head.
- Do not stop taking your medications
unless your physician has told you to.
- Bring your current medications
with you or have a list of them, including any over-the-counter medications
or supplements that you may take.
- Bring a complete list of your medical
and surgical history.
- Bring your seizure diary.
- Wear comfortable clothing or pajamas. Button-down
shirts and elastic-waist pants are advisable. Rubber-soled slippers
or sneakers should be worn when up and about the room.
What Happens After Testing?
After video EEG telemetry monitoring, the
results are interpreted and used to guide treatment or further diagnostic
tests. Sometimes, video EEG studies reveal that symptoms are not related
to epilepsy, and recommendations include appropriate follow-up and treatment
of the underlying cause of the seizures. If testing reveals the symptoms are
related to epileptic seizures, then our physicians look at the type of
epileptic seizures that are occurring and make the appropriate treatment
For patients with epileptic seizures that do not respond to medication
treatment, further recommendations could include specific neuroimaging
tests, such as MRI, positron emission tomography (PET),or testing for
epilepsy-related memory changes with neuropsychological testing. In cases
surgery is a treatment option, the patient's history and testing
is reviewed in a weekly conference that includes the staff of the Banner
Good Samaritan Epilepsy Center as well as the treating neurology and