Entabeni Epilepsy Laboratory
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What to expect

What to expect

  • While you are in the hospital you will be under the care of and seen daily by your neurologist. You will be asked questions about your past medical history and your seizures. If you cannot provide this information, please try to bring someone with you, a family member or friend, who can do this. It is especially helpful if the person can provide a description of your typical seizures.
  • You will have EEG electrodes applied to your scalp. Then the electrodes will be connected to a video EEG monitor. The camera will be turned on and your monitoring will begin. The cable that attaches the EEG headbox to the monitoring machine is long enough for you to be able to use the bathroom. However, it is very important that you stay on camera at all times.
  • At the side of your bed you will find 2 alarm buttons. One is a nurse call button and the other one is called an "EVENT" button. If you have any warning about your seizures, please push the "EVENT" button. If a friend or family member is with you, he or she, can also trigger the alarm if a seizure or event occurs. We also ask you to keep a diary of any unusual feelings or seizures you can remember. Our Neurotechnologist will explain these to you when you arrive.
  • When you have a seizure you will be closely observed by your nurse who will do some testing during, and for some time after the event. Your Neurotechnologist will also be alerted. We do everything possible to prevent injury during seizures.
  • Special thin wires called sphenoidal electrodes may be inserted. These are placed under the skin just above the jaw with a small needle which is then removed. These electrodes give us more information about seizure activity in the temporal lobes. It is normal for your jaw to feel tender for a few hours after they are inserted.
  • Your antiepilepsy medicines may be decreased or stopped while you are in the hospital. We do this to try to bring on seizures. We do not usually reduce medications prior to your admission.
  • A capped intravenous line (drip port) will be placed in one of your veins. This is for your safety. If you have a lot of seizures or a very strong one, we can rapidly give you medicine in the intravenous line to stop the seizure. This intravenous line is checked every few hours by your nurse to make sure it is working properly. The site where it is placed may be changed every few days. It will also be changed if it stops working.
We are pleased that you will soon be coming to the Epilepsy Unit at Life Entabeni Hospital. The pamphlet below has been designed to answer any other questions you may have about the video-EEG monitoring process. Why not print it out, include any questions you may have and bring it with you.

Click here to download the preparation booklet (PDF 189Kb)

Each of our patients is assigned a nurse to help take care of your admission, discharge, and follow-up appointments. Please call if you have questions that haven’t been answered in this brochure.
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