Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at Scott & White accommodates patients in single rooms. It is designed to record, evaluate, diagnose and treat seizures in patients of all ages.

The EMU is equipped with EEG, video and sound recording equipment which allow the specially trained staff to continuously monitor you. The information obtained from this monitoring allows the medical staff of the Epilepsy team to recommend therapy to treat your seizure disorder. This may include medication, lifestyle changes, vagus nerve stimulator, or surgical treatment.

Our staff watch the video monitors at all times. Every day the video and EEG records will be reviewed, and the doctor will talk with you about the findings and the ongoing plan. This may include going home sooner or staying longer than originally predicted.

What to bring:

  • Personal care items such as soap, toothpaste and toiletries.
  • Books, toys, board games, battery operated games, handwork, schoolwork, videos, etc., to help pass the time. For children, a Child Life specialist may be called for other activity suggestions.
  • Comfortable clothing which can be removed with the EEG electrodes in place, such as button front shirts or pajamas. A hospital gown may be worn if you prefer. Dark colored clothing is preferred to improve video quality. Avoid nylon or satin material which may cause static and interfere with the EEG monitoring.
  • All of the medications you take, whether for seizures or other reasons.

What to expect:

  • EEG leads will be attached to your head for the entire time you are admitted. This is like a routine EEG with the addition of a long cable to allow movement around the room. You will be able to wash up in the bathroom, but not shower or wash your hair.
  • You will be required to stay in view of the video cameras in your room or the day room, except while in the bathroom.
  • Seizure medications may be decreased or stopped during admission to increase the chances of having seizures. For most patients intravenous (IV) access is established to be able to give medication quickly to stop a seizure if it goes on too long.
  • TV and local phone service are provided at no charge. Cell phones may not be used because of interference with the monitoring.
  • Visiting hours are normally 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. If exceptions are needed, please discuss with the nursing staff. Children may visit for brief periods of time but cannot stay with family members.
  • Smoking is not permitted at Scott & White. Because you will not be allowed to leave the EMU floor, you will not be able to go outside to smoke. Nicotine patches are available over the counter or through your primary care provider.

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