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Video EEG (Electroencephalogram)

What is a Video EEG?

An EEG (Electroencephalogram) is a test that measures the electrical activity in the brain, called brain waves. An EEG measures brain waves through small button electrodes that are placed on your child’s scalp.  A video EEG is recorded for four to six hours in the EEG laboratory.

What should we do to get ready for the Video EEG?

  • Wash your child’s hair the night before. Do not put any oil, gel, or hairspray on the hair. If the hair is long, do not braid or put it up. No hair extensions please.
  • To get the maximum information from this test we try to record EEG during wakefulness and sleep.
  • Give medicines as usual. Bring a list of all medicines (how much and when) your child takes to the EEG Lab.
  • Your child should not eat one hour before the test.
  • On the day of the EEG, your child should not have any drinks with caffeine (Coke, Pepsi, coffee, tea)
  • Your child must be sleepy for the test. Please follow the guidelines for your child’s age:
    • Infant - 2 years: Wake your child up at 5:00 am on the test day. No nap before test.
    • 2 - 4 years: Keep your child up a few hours later than usual the night before the test & wake him/her up at 5:00 am test day.
    • 5 - 12 years: Keep your child up as close to midnight as possible, wake up at 5:00 am on test day.
    • 13 or older: Keep your child up until 2:00 am & wake him/her up at 5:00 am test day.

Please do not let your child nap from the time he/she wakes up until the technologist performs the test.

Who does the Video EEG?

A trained registered Neurophysiology technologist will perform the test.

How is the Video EEG done?

Your child will be asked to lie down on a stretcher bed. The technologist will explain the procedure to you and your child. The EEG technologist measures your child’s head and makes small marks on the scalp with a washable grease pencil. Each marked area is rubbed with a gritty lotion so the electrodes transmit well. The electrodes are applied to the scalp with either paste or glue, depending on the length of the video and the cooperation of the patient.  The electrodes are placed in backpack your child will carry with them.  You will be put in our recording room that contains a bed, recliner and television with DVD/VCR player. 

What happens during the Video EEG?

Only TWO adults will be allowed to stay with the child during the video EEG.  No other children/siblings should be brought to the appointment. Your child may be asked to do a blowing exercise (hyperventilate) or look at flashing lights.  He/she will be able to watch television or movies, do homework and even take a nap. 

What happens after the Video EEG?

Once the test is complete, the electrodes will be removed. The child’s hair will need to be washed at home to remove any residual paste, glue or prep. The child may leave after the procedure is completed.

Are there any risks?

Experts in neurology have studied EEG for many years and report it is a safe procedure.

Who looks at the Video EEG?

A neurologist will read the Video EEG within 24 hours of the completion of the study and a report will be sent to your child’s doctor.

Who will give me the results?

The results will be faxed to your child’s referring physician and accessible in two to three business day. Please call your doctor’s office if you have not heard anything after a few days.

How should I prepare my child?

Infants - Please bring along bottles of juice/formula and food to feed your baby during the time you will be in the laboratory.  You should also include items to make the child more comfortable during their stay (i.e. diapers, snacks, blankets, pacifiers).

Toddlers and preschool-age children- Young children are very active.  Please be prepared for the day with some activity to keep them occupied.  You may also need to provide them with a lunch and snacks depending on the length of the study.

School-age children – You should make sure that your child has activities to help pass the time.  This can include homework assignments, games, and DVDs.  Cell phone usage is not allowed in the video recording room.  You may also need to provide them with a lunch and snacks depending on the length of the study.

Please call your child’s doctor or the EEG laboratory (668-7219) if you have any questions or concerns.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 5/11