North Queensland Neurology has recently started Townsville’s only private paediatric EEG service in conjunction with Brisbane Child Neurology. EEGs will be performed here in Townsville by our trained neuroscientist in a child-friendly setting, reported by Dr Ubaid Shah from Brisbane Child Neurology. For the little ones, toys and distractions are encouraged to assist in the pain-free setup process where our neuroscientist lightly applies electrodes to your child’s scalp using gel. Recordings typically last for 20 minutes and will involve a short period of heavy breathing (hyperventilation) and flashing lights. Reports will be generated within a timely manner and sent back to your referring doctor and/or general practitioner for follow-up.

What is an EEG and what is it used for?

EEG’s are used to record the electrical activity in your child’s brain by gently applying electrodes to their scalp. Following the EEG a Neurologist will interpret the activity to assist in determining if they have seizures, epilepsy or non epileptic events.

How long does an EEG take?

Recordings are usually taken for 20 to 30 minutes; however the appointment will last 60 – 90 minutes to allow for preparation.

When should my child have an EEG? How do I get/arrange for one?

EEG’s require a referral from a GP or specialist, and are usually given if they are:

  1. Concerned that your child may be having seizures.
  2. Currently managing your child’s epilepsy but are considering making changes or ceasing their medication. Patients should not change their epileptic medications without medical direction.

Once your GP has given a referral, we recommend contacting our staff within a few days to arrange an appointment. These are usually arranged within two weeks of your call.

Do I need to do any preparation?

  1. EEG tests can be affected by hair products, so please make sure that your child’s hair is clean, dry and free of products, including hairspray, gel and mousse.
  2. Normal medications can still be taken (if you are concerned, check with your GP).
  3. Your child is not required to fast before an EEG. They can eat and drink as normal.
  4. Occasionally we may ask that your child is sleep deprived. If this is required, our staff will explain why and what is involved, when you’re making the appointment.

What happens during the EEG?

In a quiet, darkened room, designed to aid relaxation, our neuroscientist will lightly apply electrodes to your child’s scalp and record their brain activity for 20-30 minutes. Drowsiness often occurs during this time which is helpful in recording and interpreting the EEG.

Most EEG studies involve a period of heavy deep breathing (hyperventilation) and flashing lights (photic stimulation) to acquire additional information from the test.

Can any complications arise from an EEG?

There are no complications from an EEG.

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