The Diagnostic Assessment Service aims to provide a three to five day diagnostic assessment and is performed in the telemetry suites within the Neville Childhood Epilepsy Centre. The main objective is medical diagnosis and usually includes 48 hours of video telemetry – a means of monitoring and recording electrical activity within the brain by recording brain activity with an accompanying time-locked video of the child or young person.
This is done in combination with assessment by the paediatric neurologist, diagnostic staff nurse and psychologist. Parents or carers are required to accompany their son or daughter and are generally required to stay in the centre for the duration of the assessment, to support the care of their child and provide information to the team. Prior to the assessment taking place each child is visited by the Epilepsy Nurse Specialist Outreach Practitioner.
Detailed medical and seizure history is obtained from the parents and the child is observed in their school. This adds valuable information to the diagnostic process. Initial feedback can usually be given to parents when their child is discharged. A full report is sent 4 weeks following the assessment, but a letter may be sent to the local team immediately following discharge if necessary. Video telemetry place within one of our telemetry suites which contains a bed, sofa bed in a seating area and en-suite bathroom facilities.
The main room is fully equipped to carry out continuous EEG monitoring and video recording. Sound is also recorded as this can give useful information should the child have a seizure. The child may move freely around the room within the camera range. There is no camera in the bathroom. One parent will be able to stay overnight with the child. Whenever possible the other parent will be offered overnight accommodation in the nearby on-campus facilities. The nursing staff are available to allow breaks and offer support throughout the assessment. Around 24 ‘stick on’ disposable electrodes are applied to the child’s head and arms with special adhesive.