What is an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)?
An EMU is a unit in the hospital run by specialists in epilepsy. These specially-designed patient rooms provide in-depth diagnostic and treatment services for people experiencing seizures or epilepsy that may be difficult to diagnose or treat.
After being referred by a neurologist, patients undergoing observation for seizure activity stay in the EMU for five days. While there, patients are typically taken off all epilepsy medication and are monitored 24-7 via electrodes attached to their head. Staff work with patients to help induce seizures to identify triggers and the epicenter of a patient’s seizure activity. The EMU has special safety features to ensure patients aren’t harmed should they have a seizure. Every aspect of the room and care procedures put patient safety first.
Where is the EMU?
Kootenai Health’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is located on the third floor of the hospital, in the beautiful, newly-constructed 3 East unit. The four rooms are specially designed for this particular patient population.
Before constructing the new unit, a team of Kootenai Health neurology experts and nursing leadership traveled to Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona to see firsthand how one of the nation’s best epilepsy monitoring units operates. The site visit was beneficial for the team to learn about the design, workflow, and safety features necessary for this special unit.