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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. Once your physician makes a diagnosis, he or she can begin the appropriate treatment for your child.

The EMU is a specialized, inpatient unit equipped with computer-based monitoring equipment that is specifically designed for the evaluation of seizure disorders. Treatment options can be tailored to each individual based on the results of the evaluation.

In the EMU, patients are evaluated while they are awake and asleep, and any seizures are recorded and studied so that physicians can make a proper diagnosis and administer the right treatment. Each patient has a private room and private bathroom during the evaluation.

During testing, patients are connected to a video and computerized EEG (electroencephalography), which is monitored by an EEG tech. If you have an questions or would like to make an appointment , please call 239-343-0743 or 239-343-0774.

What to Expect in the EMU

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. 

Note: 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.

What to Bring to the EMU

  • Medications: Please continue all medications unless your doctor has given alternate instructions
  • Comfortable clothes: Hospitals can be cold. Please wear something that zips or buttons and is warm.
  • Games and toys: Two televisions are provided in each room. In addition, please bring favorite games or toys that will help occupy your child’s attention.
  • Comfort items: Bring items that are familiar to your child and provide comfort, to make your child feel at home: special pillows, blankets and stuffed animals.
  • Personal grooming: Please bring toiletry items from home (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap) from home for yourself and your child. There are basic toiletries available in the EMU if you need them.

Please note: Parents are required to stay with their child throughout the entire stay in the EMU. No siblings are permitted to stay with the patient.

Testing Procedures

Video and Audio: Along with the EEG (electroencephalography), we will monitor your child with video and audio equipment. This is very important for recording all seizures, spells and other unusual events. The EEG tech will provide you with an “event button” to push if any of these issues happen during testing.

24-Hour Monitoring: The EEG tech, as well as the nursing staff, will periodically enter the room during the day and night to check on your child’s comfort and vital signs, as well as fixing electrodes that may need to be reapplied.

Stimulation procedures: If permitted by a physician, a breathing exercise and photic stimulation (series of flashing lights) will be furthered explained and performed. 

Meals: Food will be provided for your child, as well as the guardian. Bring any snacks or drinks that will make you child feel more comfortable.

Clean and dry hair: You child will not be able to wash his or her hair during the stay at the EMU.

Related to the EMU

  • 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.

  • Neurodiagnostics

    Accurate diagnosis of neurological disorders can help patients get on the road to recovery more quickly. The Neurodiagnostic clinic at Lee Health features highly specialized neurodiagnostic testing methods. Learn more here!