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EEG home video telemetry

What is home video telemetry?

Your child may already have had a standard electroencephalograph (EEG) recording. This test is an EEG recorded over a longer period of time (usually 48 hours) with simultaneous video recording.

What is an EEG?

EEG stands for ‘electroencephalograph’

  • electro – the electrical impulses that are being measured
  • encephalo – the head
  • graph – the way the results of the test are presented

An EEG is a test done in specialist hospitals. The test records the electrical activity that your brain makes whilst sending messages to and from the body. EEGs are done on babies and children of all ages and abilities.

How does an EEG work?

We produce brainwaves all the time and an EEG records these brainwaves. If a child has a condition that affects the pattern of these brainwaves, an EEG may pick this up.

How will having the test help my child?

A home video telemetry recording gives us more information about your child’s brain activity than a standard EEG. It is helpful to record the brain activity whilst they are awake and asleep. Recording over a longer period increases the chance of capturing your child’s typical attacks. This is important for us to make an accurate diagnosis.

Where will the test be done?

The test is performed at home but will need to be set up in the neurophysiology recording room.

Parents and carers should note, we are not able to supervise other children whilst your child is having their EEG. If you have any problems arranging childcare, please ring the department to discuss this.

How do we get to the EEG recording room?

The EEG recording room is on E Floor by the grey stairs and lifts, at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, S10 2TH.

The nearest entrance to the department is on Damer Street around the corner from the Emergency Department. Then follow the signs to grey stairs and lifts and up to E floor and come to reception. You can also follow the signs for grey lifts from the main entrance.

A map of Sheffield Children's Hospital highlighting the entrance on Damer Street

Public transport is the best way to travel to Sheffield Children’s hospital. We are well served by bus services including 51, 52, 273, 274 and 275. We are also close to the tram route.

Find out more on our public transport webpage.

For up-to-date parking information visit our webpage about parking.

Please allow plenty of time for delays and roadworks.

Will my child need to stay in hospital for this test?

No, your child will not need to stay in the hospital. You will come to the clinical neurophysiology department to have the equipment connected. Once that is done you will go home with the equipment.

You will need to come back to the hospital the following day to have the equipment disconnected or restarted for a further 24 hours.

Is there anything we need to do before the test?

Yes, before the test, you should make sure that your child:

  • has clean, dry, hair which is free from hairspray or gel
  • continues to take any prescribed medicines, it is helpful to bring a list of your child’s current medications with you
  • wears clothes that button through to make it easier when they are getting dressed and undressed, for example, shirts or blouses. We need to be able to reach their shoulders and legs easily
  • you may wish to bring a hat or cap for them to wear

What happens when we come for the appointment?

When you come in to have the equipment fitted a physiologist will explain the test to you and your child. Our physiologists are used to dealing with frightened and anxious patients as well as those with sensory issues or special needs. We will then connect the equipment and this will take between 1 and 1.5 hours. Please bring any favourite toys or drinks and snacks that may help relax and distract during this time. We have a TV with DVD player and you may bring your own DVD to watch if you wish.

The equipment includes some small discs (called electrodes) with a wire attached to them. These wires are linked to a recorder box that is worn on a strap around their shoulder or a backpack, in the case of a small child it can be carried in a back pack or hung onto a pram. This allows them to move around freely and continue with most of their normal activities.

Setting up the test involves

  1. Measuring your child’s head to make sure the discs are placed in the correct positions.

Illustration of child having their head measured

  1. We then rub with a gritty paste and fix the discs in place with sticky paste and special glue. Gel is sometimes inserted into a small hole in the electrode using a syringe if the contact needs to be improved.

Illustration of child having sticky paste put onto their forehead to connect to wires

  1. Two stickers are placed on your child’s shoulders to record their heartbeat (this is called an electrocardiogram or ECG). Several additional leads to record muscle movements are applied. The wires are collected together and taped to or fed down the back of their clothing to be connected to the recorder which goes into a bag or backpack. We make some checks to ensure that everything is working properly.
  2. The physiologist will then explain how to use and set up the camcorder which you will take home in a carry case.
  3. Before you go home, we will give you a diary with contact numbers and an appointment for the following day.

If you have any questions at this stage please ask the physiologist.

What happens when we get home?

When you get home the camcorder should be set up in the living room, plugged in and the recording started.


It is very important that your child stays in that room until it is bed time (with the exception of going the bathroom). This is to make sure that if any symptoms occur they are recorded by the camcorder.

It is your responsibility to inform anyone entering your house that they may also be recorded.

Please note that a video recording is part of routine EEG tests in case your child has any symptoms or seizures which need to be re-examined. Video clips of such symptoms or seizures are are kept as part of the recording. When the doctor has completed the report the remaining video is deleted. We will ask your consent for this. We may also ask consent to use the video for teaching purposes and consent would be taken separately for this.

When your child goes to bed the camcorder will need to be plugged in and set up in the bedroom as high as possible (for example on top of a wardrobe so the camera can get a good view of your child). If possible please try to avoid having white, cream or shiny bedding on the bed as this reflects light from the camcorder and reduces the quality of the recording.

The recorder box will store your child’s brain activity. We will ask you to press a button and make a note of any attacks that your child has in the diary we give you.

Illustration of child standing up with wires connected from their head to a box that is wore over their shoulder


If your child’s episodes are only seen if you are watching them carefully, it may be useful to arrange for a friend or family member to help you for some of the time. They need to be watched by someone who can recognise their typical attacks.

If you have pets, please ensure that they stay away from the equipment. Whilst wearing the recorder your child will not be able to have a bath or shower. They will be able to have a standing wash.

Is the home video telemetry EEG test safe?

The test records the ongoing brain activity your child produces naturally. Your child may feel some discomfort as the head is rubbed when the discs are applied but the recording itself is painless. Occasionally, some people experience minor skin irritations due to the products we use.


Children and infants will require constant supervision (day and night) to make sure that they do not get tangled with the leads and equipment.

What happens when we come back to the hospital?

When you return the next day we need to know if we have captured a typical event during the recording period.

If we have not, then whilst the electrodes are in place and with your agreement, we would usually extend the test for a further 24 hours.

You will go home with the same equipment and repeat the procedure.

When you return the electrodes will be removed using a solution to dissolve the glue. It is unavoidable that some of the glue is left in your child’s hair. This will come out after you have washed and conditioned their hair a few times.

What happens next?

You will not get your results on the day the equipment is removed. This is because the information collected needs to be interpreted by one of our doctors. They will send a report to your hospital consultant within 3 weeks and they will discuss the results with you as arranged at your child’s most recent clinic appointment.

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We will always ask for your consent before for any procedure takes place. Staff will explain all the risks benefits and alternatives before they ask for your consent.

If you are unsure about any aspect of the procedure proposed, please do not hesitate to ask for more information.

If you have any questions or worries after reading this information please ring the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology on:
0114 271 3237, open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: NPS9

Resource Type: Article

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