Purpose: To describe current continuous EEG monitoring (cEEG) utilization in critically ill children.
Methods: An online survey of pediatric neurologists from 50 US and 11 Canadian institutions was conducted in August 2011.
Results: Responses were received from 58 of 61 (95%) surveyed institutions. Common cEEG indications are altered mental status after a seizure or status epilepticus (97%), altered mental status of unknown etiology (88%), or altered mental status with an acute primary neurologic condition (88%). The median number of patients undergoing cEEG per month per center increased from August 2010 to August 2011 (6 to 10 per month in the United States; 2 to 3 per month in Canada). Few institutions have clinical pathways addressing cEEG use (31%). Physicians most commonly review cEEG twice per day (37%). There is variability regarding which services can order cEEG, the degree of neurology involvement, technologist availability, and whether technologists perform cEEG screening.
Conclusions: Among the surveyed institutions, which included primarily large academic centers, cEEG use in pediatric intensive care units is increasing and is often considered indicated for children with altered mental status at risk for nonconvulsive seizures. However, there remains substantial variability in cEEG access and utilization among institutions.