Telemetry Electroencephalogram (EEG) – Child

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY1165/2024
  • Departments: Neurophysiology, Paediatrics
  • Last Updated: 1 January 2024


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your child’s test.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your child’s healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team who has been caring for your child.

What is a telemetry EEG?

A telemetry EEG is very similar to the routine EEG which your child may have already had done. On this occasion, it will be conducted as an inpatient within the hospital. Please see your child’s appointment letter for more details regarding this. The electrodes will be placed onto the scalp as before but on this occasion will be further secured with glue and the recording will be stored onto a box placed in a bag, which is carried over your child’s shoulder. The activity is recorded onto the computer and a video recording of your child is made at the same time. The recording will usually be undertaken for a period of 24 hours but may be longer at your child’s doctor’s request. Your child will need to remain in the telemetry room during the period of your child’s admission. The procedure is not painful but electrode removal may at times be a little uncomfortable.

Why does my child need a Telemetry EEG?

Telemetry EEG is usually done in an attempt to capture some of the seizures or episodes that your child has been experiencing. The test is most useful on children who are having at least 2 to 3 seizures or episodes per week, giving us the best chance of capturing the seizures or episodes.

Can there be any complications or risks?

Very occasionally, children may experience a slight local reaction at the electrode site. This may cause reddening and soreness. These symptoms resolve quickly on removal of the electrodes. If your child experiences these symptoms, please inform the staff attending to your child. The electrode cables running from the head to the box can become entangled if not worn under items of clothing or taped along your child’s back. Staff will discuss how to minimise these risks with your child.

How do I prepare my child for the telemetry EEG?

Please read the information leaflet.  You may want to share the information it contains with your child and family so that they can be of help and support.  There may be information they need to know, especially if they are taking care of your child during this examination.

  • It will not be possible to bathe or shower whilst the equipment is attached. Therefore, please bathe or shower and wash your child’s hair the night before, or the morning of your child’s appointment. Do not apply any hair styling products and ensure the hair is dried thoroughly. The electrodes attach best to clean, dry hair.
  • Your child will need to wear something that buttons up the front so that clothing can be removed and changed without the need for going over the head and to avoid dislodging the electrodes. It is also advisable to wear very loose or baggy necked items of clothing, t-shirts, skirts or trousers.
  • You may wish to bring toys, laptops, DVD players and books to pass the time during your child’s admission.
  • Please inform us in advance if your child has any special requirements that could help improve their stay.
  • Your child should continue with all medication as usual unless directed by your child’s doctor.
  • Your child should continue to eat and drink as normal.

What will happen?

  • Please see your child’s appointment letter for instructions regarding attending the hospital. Telemetry EEG monitoring is usually carried out on the children’s ward (Acorn) and your child will be allocated a dedicated room and bed and a nurse to look after your child.
  • After arrival on the ward a physiologist will come to prepare the equipment.
  • A detailed history will be taken to confirm the nature of your child’s seizure or episodes.
  • The physiologist will discuss what will happen to your child, obtain your verbal consent for the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
  • The physiologist will then measure your child’s head and attach 25 small electrodes to the head to record brainwaves and two electrodes on the chest to record the heartbeat.
  • The electrodes are connected to the recorder to record your child’s brain activity and video simultaneously. The physiologist will check all the equipment is working properly and record a short period of EEG, during which your child will be asked to briefly close their eyes.
  • The physiologist will show you your child’s event diary that you will need to keep during the recording and explain how this needs to be completed.
  • The physiologist will demonstrate the button used to mark the recording and explain when your child should use it.
  • Failure to complete the diary and press the event marker will directly affect the usefulness of the investigation and the value of the information we are able to give to your referring doctor.
  • The physiologist will check the equipment is working correctly before leaving.
  • Please try and remain in the designated room excepting visits to the toilet throughout your child’s stay in hospital.
  • Please avoid your child chewing gum.
  • The physiologists will be reviewing the recording remotely during the working day.
  • Should you notice any electrodes have become detached please inform the nursing staff.
  • Once the doctors are satisfied they have enough recording, the electrodes will be removed and the glue removed from the hair. Your child’s hair will then need a good wash and we advise combing conditioner through the hair after washing to help remove any small particles of glue that may have inadvertently been left in the hair.

What happens afterwards?

Once your child has left the hospital ward the recording will be reviewed by the physiologist and then by a member of the medical team or a senior physiologist who will send a report to the doctor who referred your child for the telemetry EEG. This usually takes up to two weeks.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Neurophysiology department 01482675339 or 01482675388.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats your child, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to your child. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your child’s condition, the alternatives available for your child, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about your child

We collect and use your child’s information to provide your child with care and treatment. As part of your child’s care, information about your child will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your child’s information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide your child with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your child’s doctor, or the person caring for your child.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about your child. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you need information about your child’s (or a child you care for) health and wellbeing and their care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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