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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Your child is scheduled for an electroencephalogram (EEG) at Children's Hospitals and Clinics.

Date:

Time:

Check-in time:

___ Children's - Minneapolis
Special Diagnostics – 1st floor
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota
612-813-6966

___ Children's - St. Paul
3rd Floor Garden View Building
347 North Smith Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota
Scheduling: 651-220-6705
Staff questions: 651-220-6534

Please remember to bring your current insurance card(s) with you. If you have questions about your insurance coverage for these services, or any special referral requirements, please contact your insurance company directly. They are best able to advise you about the specifics of your plan.

What is an electroencephalogram?

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a painless, safe test that records the electrical activity of the brain. It will not give shocks or measure intelligence.

Can I be with my child during the test?

You are welcome to be with your child during the test. However, we discourage having siblings in the room. It will take about 1 hour, longer if sedation is used.

How should I prepare my child?

All medicines should be taken as usual unless otherwise directed by the doctor. Hair should be clean, dry, and free of any gels, sprays, or oils.

It is important that your child feel relaxed and comfortable so the test results are accurate. Read and discuss this information with your child. Explain how the test is done, especially what your child will see, hear, and feel. Tell your child that it does not hurt. Answer as many questions as you can. You may want to help your child practice holding still.

For younger children it may be helpful to bring a favorite item such as a blanket, pacifier, or toy that will make them feel more comfortable. Please do not bring a pillow.

___ If this box is checked, your child must be deprived of sleep for an accurate test measurement. The lack of sleep sometimes will bring forth information on the EEG that will not show up when your child is fully rested.

Guidelines for sleep depriving:

(These guidelines may be changed based on the time of the test.)

  • Infant to 1 year – let baby sleep only 5 hours the night before the test
  • Older than 1 year – let child sleep only 4 hours the night before the test

If your child must be sleep-deprived, try to keep your child active. Do not give foods or beverages that contain caffeine. Here are some suggestions to keep your child awake:

  • airport visits
  • baking
  • bathing
  • bowling
  • cleaning
  • Gak®/Play-doh®
  • go to a store/mall
  • go to a park
  • playing games
  • walking

Make sure your child does not fall asleep on the way to the test. Have the windows open and try to keep your child engaged. Play games, watch for road signs, count headlights, or sing a song your child knows. If you are driving, it may be helpful to bring someone along to interact with your child while in the car.

How is the test done?

A technologist will prepare your child's head for the electrodes. The technologist will then attach electrodes (small disks) to each area with a paste or special glue (glue will be dried with an air dryer). Wires attached to the electrodes are connected to the EEG machine, which records the brain waves.

What else do I need to know?

Relaxation is an important part of the test. The lights in the room will be dimmed and quiet music will be played.

What can I expect after the test?

After the test the technologist will remove the electrodes with water (or acetone for glue) and clean the residue out of the hair. While the electrodes are being removed, your child may feel some pulling on the hair. If any glue remains, it is not harmful, and will come off over time.

A pediatric neurologist (a doctor who specializes in the brain) will review the recording and send a report to your child's doctor. Your doctor will call you with the results within 2 or 3 weeks. If you have not heard the results after 3 weeks, please call your doctor's office.

Questions?

This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. For questions about why your child is being tested, please ask your child's doctor. If you have questions about the test or how to prepare your child, please call the number at the site checked at the beginning of this sheet.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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