What to Expect in the EMU
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) is where diagnoses are performed for children with seizures that are difficult to treat. The results of the tests help your doctor diagnose your child's conditions and determine the best course of treatment.
Upon arrival, a member of the nursing staff and a neurodiagnostic technologist will greet you. The technologist will apply the electrodes to the scalp of your child’s head, using a paste that hardens. This is a painless and noninvasive process. Once the electrodes are in place, the technologist will secure them with head netting and tape.
Younger children can be restless and afraid during the process of applying the electrodes. The tech and nurses may hold your child for a short time during this process. When the testing is complete, we will remove the wires and paste with warm water. We will discharge your child after the removal process.
Preparing for EMU Admission
- We request that one adult stay with your child during admission to the EMU to help keep your child calm and entertained and to identify the events or seizures of interest. Please let us know prior to scheduling your child’s admission if you are unable to stay with your child during the entire hospitalization. We will try to arrange for a caregiver to remain in your child’s room during these times. This situation is not ideal, because we need your input to help ensure we understand and record the events you see at home.
- Staying in the EMU can be boring. We encourage you to bring your child's favorite toys, books and electronic devices. We have a TV in every room. We have a large selection of toys, board games and crafts in our playroom that we can bring to your child.
- Siblings are not permitted to stay overnight. We discourage you from bringing infant visitors as they may be exposed to viruses that may cause them to become sick.
- Every room has one parent sleep couch at the bedside. Although both parents can stay overnight, we can only provide one sleep couch. Most rooms also have a small desk, and internet throughout the facility so please feel free to bring your own activities or work.
What to Bring
Video-EEG monitoring requires you to stay in one room for an extended period of time, often 3-5 days. Each room has a telephone, television and WiFi access. Please bring items for your comfort and entertainment. Items to bring include:
- Medications in their original prescription bottles. Continue to take them as prescribed until instructed to do otherwise.
- Entertainment items: Books, cards, board games, or anything you enjoy doing that will help pass the time.
- Pajamas and comfortable clothing. Your top should button or zipper down the front rather than go over your head.
- Personal toiletry items (toothbrush, toothpaste, hand cream, etc.)
Caring for your Child's Skin After Electrode Removal
- You may notice marks on your child’s head once the electrodes are removed, especially if the electrodes were attached for a long time.
- Fair or thin-skinned heads are more likely to have small, temporary indentations. You may notice redness, puffiness, and slight blisters/scabs.
- Do not rub the irritated area. Rather, gently blot dry when needed. We suggest using Neosporin if there are marks.
- The marks can take up to two weeks to vanish.
When Will We Know The Results?
After the tests are complete, the doctor will discuss your test results with you or send them to your referring doctor. Call your neurologist or pediatrician if you have concerns.
Epilepsy and Seizure Disorder
Neurological conditions such as epilepsy and seizures disorders can be hard to understand. Lee Health can help provide you with everything you need to know. Learn more here about what services we can offer and how we can help you live with epilepsy or a seizure disorder.
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)
The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) is designed to help diagnose and treat epilepsy. The unit will help physicians determine if your child has epilepsy or another neurological disorder. Learn more about our services here!