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Common Questions about Epilepsy Monitoring

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit Video

What should I expect when I arrive?

The Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (PEMU) is located in Suite 7C at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. Your appointment begins with a review of your child's medications. You will then meet the team of PEMU doctors and nurses who will care for your child. The next step will be to have all the leads hooked up to your child.

What should I expect while my child is being monitored?

Although your child will be able to move around the room, there are some room restrictions. There will be soft gauze wrap over your child's head to help stabilize and protect the leads. During the stay, a child life specialist will be available to provide activities. There is also a DVD player in the room with videos that you can check out. Your child will be videotaped at all time and nurses will be monitoring from the nurses' station.  

What accommodations are available for parents?

We ask a parent or care giver to stay in the room with the child at all times. The care giver must be at least 18 years old. There are sleep sofas in each room. We provide one parent and the patient with three meals a day. Siblings are allowed to visit from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. but may not spend the night. Each patient room has a small cooler/refrigerator. You may also bring your personal devices as an internet connection is available.

What should my child wear to the PEMU?

Children should wear loose fitting clothes that button up. Please do not wear pullover tops. We have pajamas that will fit if you do not have any that are open or front-snap.

What should we bring to the PEMU?

Please bring a list of all current medicines, including over-the-counter, supplements, and prescription medicines; personal toiletry items; and snacks. Parents of young patients may find it helpful to bring special toys or a blanket to help their child feel more comfortable. Children may bring DVDs, handheld games and books.

What are Child Life Specialists?

Child Life Specialists will provide fun activities such as movies, arts and crafts, toys, books and games. These specialists will also be on hand to answer your questions, talk about what to expect and help with coping and support. 

What other hospital resources and information are available?

Restaurants and shops on the second floor include Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Subway and a cafeteria. We also have a gift shop, ATM, DVD kiosk and chapel. If needed, we have social workers, nutritionists and case managers available. Please visit our visiting guide linked below to learn more about the many resources available at Monroe Carell.

When will we be discharged?

We will make every effort to discharge your child by 11 a.m. We provide baby shampoo for glue removal and have other glue removal tips. We recommend you bring extra conditioner and your home hair dryer.