Update HSHS to remain in-network for Illinois Aetna click here to read more

Pediatric EEG Studies

As the only accredited EEG Lab in Central Illinois, our team of highly qualified professionals can effectively diagnose and monitor seizure disorders and identify causes of other problems, such as sleep disorders and changes in behavior.

Young girl with blue cap for EEG study

HSHS St. John’s Hospital provides the highest quality Pediatric EEG (electroencephalogram) in the region. An EEG is a safe and painless test that is used to record electrical activity in the brain. Doctors typically use this test to:

  • Detect and monitor problems that result in epilepsy (seizure disorder)
  • Identify causes of sleep disorders or behavioral changes
  • Evaluate brain activity after a severe head injury or before a heart or liver transplant
Young girl receiving an EEG study

Signs and symptoms of irregular brain activity in children

Signs that your child may have irregular brain activity can include:

  • Dizzy spells
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent headaches
  • Vertigo (spinning sensation)
  • Twitching
  • Weakness on one side of the body

Preparing your child for an EEG

To help receive the best test results, please sleep deprive your child by keeping him or her up until midnight and then wake the child up at 4 am. Having the child actually fall asleep during the procedure produces the best test results. To help make the experience a little less frightening, feel free to bring:

  • Favorite blanket/stuffed animal or toy
  • Bottle with milk or sippy cup with juice
  • Pacifier
  • iPad/tablet/phone (To use while the technologist prepares your child for the procedure)

The child may eat breakfast as normal, just make sure the meal does not include any caffeine (soda/chocolate/coffee, etc.) Any medications may be taken as normal, unless otherwise instructed by the referring doctor.

 Please note: If your child is running a fever or is contagious, please call Centralized Scheduling to reschedule the appointment at 217-544-6464 ext. 20-76565.

What to expect during an EEG

The test itself can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours - depending upon cooperation of the child and type of study ordered. The EEG test is not painful and parents may stay with their child during the procedure.

The EEG technologist will make markings on your child’s scalp with a red or blue (washable) skin crayon. The technologist will then clean the marked areas and place small suction cups (electrodes) connected to thin, colorful wires on the marked areas. A special paste is used to keep the electrodes in place. (If the child is uncooperative or moving around a lot, the technologist(s) may use a special glue to apply the electrodes.)

During the recording, older children may be asked to breathe deeply through their mouth for two to three minutes and to also open and close their eyes. The child also gets to look at a flashing strobe light during the recording.

Parents with additional questions are encouraged to call the EEG department 217-544-6464 extension 20-47590 between 8 am - 4 pm.

EEG Results

After the test is complete, one of our neurologists will read and interpret the results. They will then send these to your child’s primary care doctors. This can take a few days, but know that we are taking the utmost care in reading all of your child’s results.