In the EMU Room
Once you are hooked up, you will not be able to leave the room.
Your length of stay will depend on how long it takes us to record your seizures. We often just need to see 1 or 2 of your typical seizures. Plan to be admitted to the hospital on Monday morning and discharged on Friday morning. This may be shorter depending on you and your seizures. On the day of admission, continue taking your morning medicines as usual. Any medication adjustments will be made by the doctor once you are admitted and in the EMU.
When you have a seizure, be sure you or the person staying with you will press the event push button. This is how the epileptologist reading your EEG knows that you have identified your event. Also, please record on the log sheet whether your seizure was typical or not. If you are not aware of your seizure, your family or significant other who stays with you during the EMU stay can do this for you. If you get a warning or aura, please push the button.
If you are a smoker, please talk to a nurse once you get to your room about the options for nicotine replacement during your stay at the hospital. Smoking is NOT allowed anywhere in the hospital or on the hospital campus.
Your electrodes will be checked daily. We may reattach or add conducting gel to make sure we get a good recording. These electrodes will stay on until you are discharged.
You will not be able to wash or comb your hair during the recording. Please wash your hair with shampoo before you are admitted. Do not use any mousses, gels, oils, creams, hair spray or conditioner in your hair. If you have braids or dreadlocks, please try to have your hair unbraided for the EEG hookup. This will make the hookup more comfortable for you, and will allow the electrodes to work better.
You will have a private room. In each room, you will notice that there is a video camera and microphone on the EEG recording device. There should be pads on the side rails of your bed. If you do not see these pads, please notify your nurse. Please keep the side rails up at all times for your safety.
We suggest having a family member, spouse, or friend stay with you while you are admitted/being monitored. This is important for several reasons. Family members, spouses, or friends know you and may know what your seizures look like and can tell us if the seizures you have are typical or not. They will be able to help you if you are in a situation where you could hurt yourself during the seizures. If you cannot find someone to stay with you during the admission, please contact our epilepsy coordinator at (409) 772-1450.
There is cable TV and a phone in your room. Your phone has a number on it which family and friends can use to call you directly. Please check your patient information pamphlet that you receive the day you are admitted for more details.
The cable on your EEG unit is long enough for you to get up and use the bathroom to wash, brush your teeth and use the toilet. However, you must call your nurse for help when you need to get out of bed. While you are using the bathroom, you are required to keep the door open at least for a few inches for your safety. You may get up and sit in a chair with your nurse’s assistance. You will not be videotaped while you are in the bathroom, but try to make sure that you are on video any other time that you move around your room.
Your nurse will check on you periodically through the day and night. They will obtain your blood pressure and other vital signs. A capped intravenous line will be placed in one of your veins. This is mandatory and for your safety. If you have a very severe seizure or a lot more seizures than normal we can give you medicine to stop them through this IV line. It will be checked every shift by your nurse to make sure it is working.
We will probably decrease or stop your antiepileptic medicine while you are in the hospital to try to trigger your seizures. We might also deprive you of sleep to try to bring on a seizure. This means you would stay up very late and only get a couple of hours of sleep. The lack of sleep increases the chance of seizures; therefore we do not want you to sleep during the day. We also may make you breathe deeply and flash lights to provoke an event. These are similar to the procedures performed when you have a routine EEG and sometimes will bring on seizures. Also, if you are aware of anything that makes you more likely to have a seizure, please let us know.
A physician will visit you daily and update you on your progress. We will discuss what information we have so far and what you can expect next. This is a good time for you to bring up any questions you or your family may have.