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Please note the EMU service is covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).


The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) is where you will be admitted to the hospital to have a prolonged-Video EEG. This test helps us understand better the events and seizures that you are having by

  • allowing us to see what is happening using video
  • recording your brain waves on a computer, and
  • hearing what is happening using the microphones.

This test takes place on the inpatient neuroacute care unit floor (NACU). The NACU has two dedicated beds for the EMU, all of the necessary tools and diagnostics and a dedicated team. The trained team of nurses, EEG technicians, epileptologists and support staff will monitor you in this safe environment.

Your admission will usually last four to five days. This will give us time to capture any concerning events and record any relevant data. It is often necessary for patients to wean off medications in order to record seizures during their stay. The doctor supervising your visit the unit will help you in this process.

Spells and seizure activity will be recorded and assessed using:

  • continuous Electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring equipment, and
  • a video camera and microphone (positioned over your hospital bed)

We can also use a prolonged-Video EEG test to monitor patients while switching medications, and to discriminate between seizure activity, medication side effects and/or other non-epileptic events.

Read the patient pamphlet for detailed information about what to expect at the EMU.  


Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)
The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus,
1053 Carling Avenue,
Ottawa ON,
K1Y 4E9.

The EMU is part of NACU on the second floor of the hospital in the “E” section.

On the day of your admission, please put on a mask before you enter the hospital. If you do not have a mask, a screener at the door will give you one. You can use either the main entrance close to the garage and Tim Hortons or the East entrance off Melrose. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Admissions area located on the main floor to check in.
  2. After checking in, go to the Neuroscience Acute Care Unit (Please do not go up to the unit before 7:30 a.m.) (Take D elevators to the 2nd floor, then turn right into the Neuroscience Acute Care Unit).

Last updated on: February 1st, 2021