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Paediatric 24 hour Ambulatory EEG

What is an Ambulatory EEG?

EEG is an abbreviation of Electroencephalogram, it is the recording of the electrical activity produced by the brain. It can help the doctors to make a diagnosis.  An Ambulatory EEG is the recording of your brain wave activity over a prolonged period, usually 24 hours. 

How is it performed?

Your child will have to attend the department on two consecutive days.

Day 1

The first appointment will be for 2 hours.  The physiologist will measure your child’s head.   The head will be rubbed with a special gel then 23 discs are attached to the scalp using a special glue to ensure they remain in place for 24 hours.  Your child’s heartbeat will also be recorded by attaching two leads to the shoulders. 

 If your child has a favourite toy/book/snack please feel free to bring them along as these may help to keep him/her distracted whilst the leads are being applied.  We have a dvd player and a selection of dvd’s, or you can bring one of your own if you wish.  We also have a high chair, which sometimes makes it easier to apply the leads if younger children are sat in this.  The leads of the discs are attached to a small recording box, which will continuously record the activity of your child’s brain.  Your child will not feel anything while it is recording.  The recording box will be placed in a bag which your child can wear over their shoulder,  around their waist or in a backpack.  

Before leaving the department, you will be given a diary sheet to fill in for your child. This is for you to record their activities over the course of the day so that we can better understand the EEG.  

Day 2

The second appointment will be for 1 hour. The leads and glue will be removed using acetone. Again, please feel free to bring toys/DVD’s etc.

How do I prepare for the test?

Please ensure your child’s hair is washed on the day before or the morning of the test.  If washed on the day of the test please ensure their hair is dry before attending the department.  Hair must be clean and free from hairspray and oil. 

Please bring your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing

If your child is taking medication please continue to give it to them and bring a list of the medication with you.

Your child may eat normally.

There are no side effects from the test.

We will need to obtain verbal consent for this procedure, and this can only be given by a person with parental responsibility.  If you are unsure whether the person bringing your child can give consent, please check with the doctor who has referred your child or call the department on 01422 222976 for advice.

How long will I have to wait?

You have been given a specific appointment time and patients are usually seen on time.  It is important that you arrive on time.  Please allow plenty of time for parking.

When will I get the results?

The results are sent to the doctor that referred you for the test and are usually available within seven days.

If you have any concerns or questions please speak to a Clinical Physiologist on the number below.


Neurophysiology Department   01422 222976