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Diagnostic Neurophysiology (EEG & EMG)

We do more than 25 tests on the brains, nerves and muscles of children

We are usually called the EEG Department because the most common test is an EEG (electroencephalogram). Each test can help with your child's diagnosis.

Types of tests

  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Ambulatory EEG monitoring (AM)
  • Intensive video-EEG monitoring (IM)
  • Electromyography (EMG) & nerve conduction study (NC)
  • Evoked potentials (EP), including:
    • Visual evoked potential (VEP)
    • Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER)
    • Somatosensory evoked potential (SEP)
  • Intraoperative monitoring (IOM)

Some tests require children to be sleep deprived or sedated.

What to Bring

Please bring the following to your appointment:
  • BC Services Card (Care Card)
  • Information about current medications and dosages, including herbal supplements and vitamins
  • Soothers, stuffies, blankets - anything comforting that will help your child relax and stay calm

If you need to cancel

Please tell us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend – at least 48 hours ahead, if you can, so that your appointment time can be used by another patient.

If your child has an infection

If your child has cold or influenza-like symptoms please call us, we might need to reschedule your appointment.

If you need an interpreter 

Please let us know, as early as possible, if an interpreter would be helpful.

Internet access

There is free wireless internet available. The network is called CWguest (agree to the terms and conditions prior to browsing).

About us

We work very closely with Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropsychology and Orthopedics. 

We provide services for inpatients at BC Children's Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, and BC Women's Hospital. 

We provide outpatient services for children from all areas of BC and the Yukon.


How parents can help

Most tests require children to be sleep deprived or sedated. 

Follow the appropriate preparation instructions for the type of EEG test.


Do not be late for your appointment. It is very important to be on time! Please try to arrive 15 minutes before the test to find parking and check in with us. Being late for your appointment cuts into your child's testing time.

We are located at Entrance 17 of the 1982 Building of BC Children's Hospital. Entrance 17 is open from 8am, if your appointment is at 7am please enter via Entrance 53 (Teck Acute Care Centre) and follow the signs for Diagnostic Neurophysiology EEG/EMG. 

Valet parking is available at entrance 11, off of Oak street. There is no extra charge on top of the regular parking rate for this service.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What if my child doesn't sleep? 

If sleep was necessary, the EEG may have to be repeated.  The referring doctor will make that decision.

How long does the EEG take to complete?

The entire appointment will last approximately 60-90 minutes. 

Can the technologist give me the result?

No, the technologist cannot give you the result. The referring doctor will look at the report on their computer and will give you the result at your next appointment.

Can I be with my child during the test?

Yes, you can be in the room with your child during the EEG test. It is important for your child to lay still during the set-up and the test. Please bring anything that will help your child remain calm, such as stuffies, soothers or books.

Does the EEG hurt?

No. Even babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) have this test done.

Does the EEG put anything in my child's head?

No, the electrodes are placed on top of the scalp using a paste. The electrodes will be taken off at the end of the test.

Is the EEG harmful?

No. Children can and do have many EEGs.


Test results

Your technologist cannot give you the results of your child's test. The referring doctor will give you the result. All tests must be interpreted by a doctor in our department.

As soon as the report is available electronically, the referring doctor will have access to view the results. 

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