EEG (Electroencephalography)

What is an EEG and what does it do?

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain. Special sensors (electrodes) are attached to your head and hooked by wires to a computer. The computer records your brain’s electrical activity on the screen or on paper as wavy lines. Certain conditions, such as seizures, can be seen by the changes in the normal pattern of the brain’s electrical activity.

Sleep Deprived EEG- EEG after periods of non-sleep (less than 4 hours in a 24 hour period). Basically the idea is that if your body is tired or fatigued seizure activity is more likely to show up on your EEG. For children, 20-24 hours of sleep deprivation is best. However, if that is not feasible, try keeping the child up as late as possible and waking them early.

Who performs the test?

The test is performed by a licensed Respiratory Therapist.

Where does it take place?

At Jackson Hospital in the Respiratory Department.

How long does it take?

Up to an hour.

What should I do to make it a success?

Please be sure to bring your doctor’s orders with you the day of your test. Allow 15 minutes to register.

What should I do before the exam?

  • Since the electrodes are attached to your scalp, make sure your hair is clean and free of sprays, oils, creams, and lotions. Shampoo your hair and rinse with clear water the evening before or the morning of the test. Do not put any hair conditioner or oil on after shampooing. Also no braids, hairpins or hair extensions.
  • Eat a full meal prior to the test. Do not eat or drink foods that have caffeine (such as coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate) for 12 hours before the test.
  • If it has been 2 hours since the last meal, eat a snack prior to the test.
  • Take your medications as prescribed. Bring a complete list of medications with you including any medications taken in the last 30 days.
  • Be sure to use the restroom before the study.

For a child:

  • Try to schedule the test around the child’s normal nap time schedule. If sleep deprived, schedule for early a.m. appointment.
  • Feed the child immediately before the EEG. The child will not be able to suck on bottle or pacifier during the EEG.
  • Bring familiar items (blanket, toy, etc).
  • The physician may order a mild sedative to be given 30 minutes prior to arrival for the study with a 2nd dose to be given upon arrival to the EEG department.

What happens during the exam?

You will be asked to lie on your back on a bed or table or relax in a chair with your eyes closed. The EEG technologist will attach electrodes to different places on your head, using a sticky paste to hold the electrodes in place. An Electro-cap with fixed electrodes may be placed on the surface of your head instead and individual electrodes placed at places on the face and neck.

The electrodes are hooked by wires to a transmitter that, when turned on, make a whirring noise. This transmitter is connected to a receiving center via telephone. The receiving center will record and evaluate your results.

What should I do after the exam?

  • The cap and all electrodes will be removed.
  • You may resume normal activity after your study.
  • Your test will be reviewed and interpreted by a Board Certified physician at TELEMEDEX (a specialized telephonic EEG service company). All physicians are board certified in Electroencephalography/Neurology.
  • Your physician should have the results of your study in 24-48 hours.

Contact Information:

Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200
Respiratory Department (850) 718-2545

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