A Routine EEG is a painless test that measures the electrical activity in the brain by placing leads on your scalp using a paste and then performing a series of breathing exercises, flashing lights, and resting time. It records the patients brainwaves continuously, picking up any potential abnormalities. The recording can range from 20 minutes to an hour. The data goes directly to a physician to interpret once the study is complete.
Step One: Set Up
A tech places 21 wires on the patients head and two to three on the chest for an EKG using a conductive paste and electrodes. Before placing each electrode, an exfoliate gel is used to prep the skin and pick up any oils to ensure a good connection.
Note: Please be sure to wash and dry hair before the study, with no after products like gel, mousse, or hair spray. This helps ensure there is no interference and the electrodes get the most accurate reading.
Step Two: Stimulatory Exercises
Depending on age and health, patients are walked through a couple of exercises designed to stimulate the brain. This includes:
Step Three: Rest
The patient is asked to try to take a nap for the remainder of the time
or to just keep their eyes closed to stay relaxed.
Step Four: Disconnect
A tech will take off the wires in a swift, painless manner. The data will be uploaded to a secure server and interpreted by the neurologist. Results will come from the physician’s office anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks after the test was completed.
Note: It is recommended to bring a head-covering like a hat or scarf. There will be some leftover paste in the hair, but it will wash out with warm water.
A Long Term / Ambulatory Video EEG is a painless test recording of the electrical activity in the brain by placing leads on your scalp using a paste, then wrapping your head in gauze and wearing the equipment while you do normal activities within the home. It will record while awake and asleep. The length is typically 24-96 hours, depending on the orders from the doctor.
Step One: Set Up
A tech places 21 wires on the patients head and two to three on the chest for an EKG using a conductive paste and electrodes. Before placing each electrode, an exfoliate gel is used to prep the skin and pick up any oils to ensure a good connection. Once the leads are on, medical tape and gauze is wrapped around the head to ensure the leads stay in place. All of the wires get covered up and the device is placed in a pouch, which the patient will wear.
Note: Please be sure to wash and dry hair before the study begins. It is recommended to wear a button down or loose-fitting shirt for the setup for the sake of convenience if the patient chooses to change clothes during the duration of the study.
Step Two: Day to Day Routine
Once everything is on, the patient is free to do normal activities in the home. The patient will need to stay in range of the computer and camera the majority of the time throughout the study. The range is about 20 to 30 feet. The computer can easily be unplugged, moved, and plugged back in as needed, but the patient is not expected to be on camera for private activities. During testing you will have a technologist on-call 24 hours a day that can assist you with any questions or concerns. They will also check the study periodically to ensure everything is working properly and contact you if there are any issues.
Note: Once the study begins, the patient will want to try their best to stay cool and not sweat to keep moisture from forming under the tape/gauze, which can cause irritation. Full baths or showers are not permitted while wearing the equipment.
Step Three: Disconnect
A tech will go out to the patient’s home and take off the gauze, medical taping, and wires in a swift, painless manner using a spray that allows it to come off with ease, and pick up all the equipment. This process usually takes less than 30 minutes. The data will be uploaded to a secure server to be reviewed by the physician. Once the data is interpreted the patient will get results from the doctor who ordered the test. The wait time depends on the physician, but is typically 1 to 3 weeks after the test is complete.
Note: After the wires are removed, there will be leftover paste in the hair. The patient will want to shower soon after and wash their hair with water as warm as they can handle. Minor skin irritation may occur. If so, keep the skin clean and dry and allow time to recover.