St. Mary's Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)

what is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and by the neurobiological, cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of this condition.

Epilepsy is a condition affecting up to one percent of the world’s population. Approximately five percent of people will have at least one seizure in their lifetime. Anyone can get epilepsy, from young babies to adults.

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions, affecting about 1% of the population. Common causes include genetic conditions, traumatic, brain injury, stroke, and brain tumors. Despite advances in the treatment of epilepsy, about 1/3 of patients continue to have seizures on medication.

the facility

The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at St. Mary’s Hospital provides diagnoses and evaluations in persons with suspected epilepsy. Our dedicated 2-bed unit provides continuous audio/video/EEG monitoring services.

In addition to physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, the EMU hosts a highly skilled and compassionate team of EEG technologists, dedicated epilepsy nurses, neuroradiologists, neuropsychologists, a unit manager and a dedicated social worker.

EEG technical support is available 24 hours a day, and the unit provides around-the-clock nursing coverage by EMU nurses in a safe and controlled environment.

Patients may be referred to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit for multiple reasons. Epilepsy monitoring can diagnose why patients are having spells and help classify spells in order to optimize medical treatment. Epilepsy monitoring can also determine the location of the cause of patients’ seizures. Patients who are not responding to medications for seizures may be monitored in order to determine if they may be candidates for non-pharmacologic treatment, including epilepsy surgery or the vagal nerve stimulator.

To make an appointment, please call 804-287-7721.

Click here for more information on our services and epilepsy.

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