Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) is one of the most technologically advanced in the nation. Each of the eight private rooms in the EMU is fully equipped with state-of-the-art EEG equipment, video monitors and intercoms to ensure instant communication with the EMU techs and nurses. The Command Center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by EEG techs. Our patients receive individualized, customized treatment and personal care by our techs and nursing staff.

What is the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit?

The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) is a specialized 8-bed unit within UPMC Children's Hospital where children’s seizures are evaluated, monitored and recorded using digital EEG monitoring and neuroimaging studies.

Patients may stay in the EMU for several days while receiving continuous video EEG monitoring, which records the electrical impulses from the brain that can cause seizures. This activity is monitored continuously by the EMU Command Center. The EMU is staffed by nurses, technicians, and epileptologists who are experts in epilepsy, and dedicated to the personal care and comfort of each child.

Who Gets Admitted to the EMU?

Patients admitted to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) include children and teens with events that may not yet be diagnosed as epilepsy, or who have had a change in their seizure patterns. Patients with intractable epilepsy (Phase I) are those whose epilepsy does not improve with medications.

Diagnostic Video EEG (VEEG)

A patient admitted for a diagnostic video EEG (VEEG) may have a seizure disorder that has not yet been diagnosed as epilepsy, or their epilepsy has worsened. They will be monitored in the EMU so that their events can be captured on the EEG and a diagnosis can be made or confirmed.

Patients typically have a consultation with a Children’s Hospital neurologist to determine if admission to the EMU will be helpful in diagnosing the child’s condition.