Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

What is the EMU?

The EMU is a specialized inpatient unite designed to evaluate, diagnose and test adult and pediatric patients with seizures. 

Experienced technologists from the EMU Control Room provide patients with monitoring 24 hours a day and perform neurological testing as events occur. Our EEG technologists and nurses are specially trained in recognizing and responding to seizures to maximize your safety.
Physicians refer to the EMU for assistance with:

Phase I

  • classifying seizure types
  • identifying epilepsy vs. non-epileptic mechanisms
  • determining the frequency, type and nature of patient’s episodes
  • obtaining better control of seizures with proper anticonvulsants

Phase II

  • consists of surgical techniques to pinpoint the area(s) of the brain where seizures originate
  • commonly reserved for patients whose epilepsy has been resistant to anti-convulsant medications


EMU EPILEPSY TESTING

Electroencephalography (EEG): A routine EEG recording typically lasts 20-40 minutes. It gives a “snapshot” of the brain’s electrical activity. Electrodes are attached to the patient’s head and to a computer that records electrical signals from the brain.


Video-EEG (V-EEG): In a video-EEG, a camera records your continuous physical activities and noises while a continuous EEG recording detects seizure activities or events. This is the type of EEG you will have in the EMU.
In the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, simultaneous recording of EEG and video data allows us to determine if there are seizures and where in the brain they begin.


What to expect

In the hospital, you will be seen every day by an epileptologist (a neurologist specializing in epilepsy and related seizure disorders). For adult patients, an IV will be started by a nurse for blood draws or medication during your stay.


In some cases, during a seizure, a staff member may inject a special isotope solution through your IV line for a special procedure called an Ictal-SPECT Scan.


For all patients, both pediatric and adult, a button will be placed at the bedside for the patient or family or friends to push whenever the patient is having a typical episode. This will mark the exact area on the V-EEG where the symptoms occur, aiding the epileptologist
in the interpretation of the V-EEG.



What to Bring

  • loose, comfortable clothing like sweat pants, shorts and pajamas (no pullovers due to head electrodes)

  • medications you currently take(prescription and non-prescription)

  • personal care items such as soap, toothpaste and toiletries

  • prescribed CPAP or Bi-level PAP Machine for sleep

  • books, magazines, puzzles, games, DVD movies and craft or hobby projects to help pass the time

  • food from home or carry-out may be stored in the refrigerator in the pantry

  • cell phones and laptops are permitted

Patients usually stay in the EMU for two to five days, so a family member or friend is encouraged to stay to help with the evaluation of the patient events. However, an adult family member or friend is required to be present throughout the entire EMU admission with pediatric patients. All rooms are private and comfortable with a flat screen TV for the patient’s entertainment.


Once a physician referral form is given to a patient, the patient will need to contact the EMU for proper insurance authorization and to set up a date for admission.


To make an appointment with the EMU at Beaumont, Royal Oak, call 248-551-2269.

 

For more information, visit beaumont.org/neurology or call 855-8-NEURO1 (855-863-8761).