When you or your child arrives at Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, a staff member will orient you to the area and a nurse will conduct an admission interview with you.
The nurse, a specialist in epilepsy care, will ask about your past and present medical history, as well as your daily routines and lifestyle. These questions may seem personal, but they will help us plan your care while you are in the unit. An EEG technologist will explain our recording procedures to you.
The technologist will connect the various electrodes used to monitor your brain waves. The electrodes will stay in place on your scalp during your entire stay in the unit. Once the electrodes are in place, they are connected to recording amplifiers, and the digital video camera is adjusted. All of these devices are connected to a computer that helps us collect, analyze, save and recall large amounts of data about each of our patients.
You will spend several days being monitored. EEG technologists and nurses staff the Monitoring Units to observe patients. Because they can see and hear you, these experts are available to respond when a seizure occurs. To ensure we record a seizure while you are in the Monitoring Unit, it is often necessary to lower the dosage or stop the anticonvulsant medication(s) you are taking.
Please be aware that when medications are reduced, you may experience different types of seizures, some of which your family may not have witnessed before. Most of the time you will stay in bed or in a reclining chair next to your bed. You will be disconnected from the equipment to get up and move about twice a day. You also will be disconnected to use the restroom and to shower.
Having a family member or staff person accompany you on all walks is required for your safety as your medication has been reduced or discontinued. For your safety, we also limit your walking within the unit itself.
When showering, a staff or family member needs to be seated in the hallway near the shower for your safety. Handheld shower attachments are provided to prevent the electrodes and head-wrap (dressing) from getting wet.
We recommend you wear comfortable street clothes such as button-down, loose-fitting or short-sleeve shirts, and shorts or sweatpants. You need not wear a hospital gown in the unit.