Pediatric Regional Epilepsy Program

Inpatient Admission to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)

There are two common reasons for admission to the EMU:

EMU admission process

EMU admission details

If you have any questions, please call the EMU at 215 590- 2775.

Care in the EMU

Your role

Watch "My Trip to the Hospital for a Video EEG" presentation to help prepare your child for the study.

Children with behavioral concerns

Please fill out the following forms if you feel that your child has any behavioral concerns that you would like to bring to the medical team's attention during your child's appointment:

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have a private room?

Patients admitted to 9 South will have a private room. In rare instances, there are no beds available on 9 South and a patient may need to be admitted to a different floor. In this situation, you may not have a private room.

Do I have to stay awake all night to watch my child?

No, however we ask that when your child is awake that you remain awake to help identify the events. You don’t need to stay awake when your child is asleep.

How do the electrodes get applied?

Your child must remain still and in a flat position for a short period of time for the electrodes to be successfully and accurately applied. Sometimes we use a medical immobilizer to keep your child from moving and to ensure their safety. We apply the electrodes with an adhesive called collodion. The collodion is dried with a small air compressor. The air compressor is noisy, but not painful. Once the electrodes are applied, gauze is wrapped around your child’s head to keep the electrodes in place. Our EEG technologists have special training in applying the electrodes and head dressing to children. Some children may find the process scary at first, but there is no pain with the procedure. We work closely with Child Life Specialists to make your child as comfortable as possible.

Do you use sedation to put electrodes on the head?

No, we do not use sedation. While it may be upsetting for children, it is not painful. Also, sedation may reduce the chances of capturing your child’s event and may alter your child’s brain waves which could make it hard for us to interpret the EEG.

How often does the head dressing need to be changed?

The head dressing will be changed every day to replace the electrode gel to maintain a high quality recording. Sometimes we need to replace the collodion adhesive on some electrodes.

How can I help prevent my child from pulling off the electrodes?

We wrap the head and the electrodes using cotton gauze in a pony tail fashion, and this usually keeps the electrode in place. We also ask that you watch your child and do not allow pulling on the head wrap. By redirecting your child with toys, books, activities or movies, we can usually succeed without further restraints.

Does my child have to remain in bed during the study?

Absolutely not! The video equipment allows your child to move about the room. We encourage a regular environment so that the events may occur naturally, just as they would at home.

When will I know the results of the study?

The neurology team will tell you the results of the EEG during daily morning rounds which are typically between 10 a.m. and noon.

How many days will my child stay in the hospital?

Seizures and events are unpredictable making it difficult to obtain the data needed for diagnosis. The goal of each child’s admission is different. Some children are here to capture one event while others need to have several events recorded on video-EEG. The goal for your child’s admission should be discussed with neurology. The healthcare team you meet in the hospital will discuss the progress made each day, and together you’ll decide how long to stay.

What should I bring to the hospital? 

We encourage you to bring favorite toys, books, school work, and DVDs. We have a TV and a DVD player in every room. Sony Playstation 2 is also in the majority of patient rooms, but not all. We have a large selection of toys, board games and crafts in our playroom that we can bring to your child.

How do I care for the scalp/skin after electrode removal?

You may notice marks on your child’s head once the electrodes are off. The severity of the marks depends on the length of the time the head was being monitored and your own child’s skin texture. Fair or thin skinned heads tend to have areas that have the greatest percentage of indentations left behind. You may notice the shape of the gold electrode on the forehead area, redness, puffiness and even slight blisters/scabs. This is all from having the electrodes on the head and being wrapped. No air gets in. This is normal. The longer the study is, the more severe the area may look. Do not rub the irritated area gently blot dry. We suggest using Neosporin on the areas in question. The marks can take up to 2 weeks to vanish. Of course if you still have concerns, please call your pediatrician.

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