Video telemetry

Video telemetry simultaneously measures your brain activity (EEG) and videos you. You will be monitored day and night for three to five days.

Videotelemetry may enable the doctors to give you a more accurate diagnosis about the nature of your attacks. It allows them to see the seizure activity in the brain while having visual evidence of what was happening to you at the time.

Coming into hospital for video telemetry

Please arrive with hair that is freshly washed and dried, do not use any hair products such as hair spray, mousse or oil. Continue to take your tablets as normal and bring them with you.

You will be shown to the ward, where the nurses and doctors will ask detailed questions about your epilepsy your general health and so on. It is helpful if someone who has seen your attacks can accompany you, to describe what they would see. You may be asked to sign a consent form allowing us to use your recording for teaching purposes. If you are happy to consent to this, the recording will be kept strictly confidential, and used in the training of health care professionals.

During the afternoon you will be connected to the video telemetry equipment.  Like a normal EEG, small metal discs with attached wires (electrodes) will be applied to your scalp using special glue. Although most of the glue will be removed  when the electrodes are taken off, any residue will wear off when you next wash your hair. Combing through lots of conditioner also helps.

The camera is like a CCTV camera and will be mounted on the wall. You will be attached to the equipment by a long cable, which will allow you to move freely around the room and en-suite bathroom. You will not filmed in the bathroom.

During your stay in hospital

The aim of the admission is to record several of your normal seizures and also obtain some recording of you between seizures. The equipment is not mobile, so the majority of the week will be spent by your bed.

If you smoke, we are unable to allow you off the ward for a cigarette while you are being recorded. Discuss this with your doctor when you arrive, as the may be able to prescribe nicotine patches for you if necessary. Please remember, long periods of chewing, for example chewing gum or sweets, will interrupt the recording.

It is advisable to bring activities to help pass the time. We have a TV/DVD/CD player with a small library of music, films and games but please feel free to bring any favourites. You can get dressed during the day, but try to bring clothes that have stretchy necks or button up the front, so the leads on your head do not get dislodged.

You will need to bring warm clothing for the night, as there are no bed covers. This is so we can see any movement clearly, if you have a seizure overnight.

The event button

When the electrodes are put on, the staff will show you the event button. It is very important to press this button if you feel an attack coming on. It will mark the tape allowing staff to find the exact time the attack started. If you do not get a warning don’t worry:

  • The nurses will press it if they observe you having an attack. They will also document what they observe on a chart.
  • If it has not been done already, press the button as soon as possible afterwards if you think you may have had an attack.


If you have visitors you may want to show them the event button and the call buzzer for the nurse. Ask them to press them for you if they witness an attack. It is also helpful to show them where the camera is so they do not block the view.

During a seizure it is helpful if your visitors do not talk and turn down the radio or TV. (If it is on) to help us get the best recording of anything you may say during an attack.

Patients undergoing assessment for surgery

Your consultant will have already discussed the assessment process and the possibility of surgery with you. To ensure we have the best chance of recording some seizures, your consultant may suggest reducing your medication whilst you are in hospital. This will be carried out with your consent, following a strict protocol. You will be observed on your normal dose for at least 24hrs before leaving hospital.