By Sandy Penney R. EEG T./RPSG., Madison Gonet R. EEG T., Chris Simpson R. EEG T.
Step-By-Step EEG Head Wrap (with pictures)
The EEG head wrap is a crucial step in the electroencephalogram process. Traditionally a head wrap is called for when the patient will have a long-term study, ambulatory EEG study, or any time the technologist would like to ensure the leads are secured to the patient’s head. There are many times, especially when EEG is depicted on TV, when a head wrap isn’t used.
Head wraps can not only keep electrodes in place, but they can also create a barrier. This barrier prevents the patient from disturbing them and creating artifacts on the collected data. When well-executed, a head wrap is a nice finishing touch on the patient that safeguards electrodes on the scalp. If working with children, the head wrap can be a nice way of hiding intimidating-looking wires.
Much like tying a necktie, there are different ways to accomplish this. Today we’re demonstrating a tried-and-true method to perform an elegant and functional EEG head wrap. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
Prepare for the EEG Head Wrap
By this point, let’s assume the patient already has their electrodes in place. The patient is ideally seated comfortably while you are standing with your materials nearby and ready. Have your head wrap gauze and tape within reach. We recommend pre-cutting 6-8 medium-length strips of tape for efficiency. In this demonstration, we’re using stretch-gauze, but there are different kinds of gauze for different situations.
Some Things to Remember
- You can follow up the EEG head wrap with a stocking cap. If using a stocking cap, tape around the circumference.
- Be very careful not to tape on the top of the leads or wrap too tightly – this can cause a pressure wound. Make sure you can fit two fingers under the wrap to verify it’s not too tight. Ask the patient if they are comfortable.
- Is a head wrap always necessary? No – but for patients who need to sleep during the study, it can be more comfortable. Also, if a patient is having tonic-clonic seizures it can help the leads stay secure.
That’s a Wrap
While many EEG technologists are very experienced performing a head wrap, we recommend having a fellow colleague wrap your head for practice sometime. It’s important to know how the patient may feel if the wrap is too loose or too tight. A little empathy goes a long way. Once you’ve mastered the process, you could probably do this with your eyes closed!
This educational content is brought to you by Lifelines Neuro. Sandy, Madison, and Chris are registered EEG technologists for the Lifelines Neuro Clinical Trials team who offered their combined years of experience to create this article.