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EEGs and Glue in Hair

  • Posted on August 24, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Before I move on from the rather momentous experience of the video EEG, we need to talk about glue. See, a 24-hour video EEG involves gluing electrodes onto the person’s head. And then, when the person tears off those electrodes during a seizure, there’s more glue. Willy had three layers of glue on his head. Cleaning it off wasn’t easy.

So, here’s a quick how-to lesson:

  1. If it is at all possible to buzz the child’s head, even if that’s not a style you’d prefer, before the video EEG, then do it. It’ll be worth it! I know, because we didn’t.
  2. If it is at all possible to convince the child to leave the electrodes on, do it. I suspect multiple layers of glue are worse than a single layer of glue.
  3. Before you start to clean the glue out of the child’s hair, assuming you failed in step 1 and step 2, be sure to have a comb or combs of varying fineness. This refers to how close together the teeth are.
  4. If the staff haven’t already done so, start by getting your child’s hair wet with a little bit of water and a lot of baby shampoo—the kind that loosens tangles without tears.
  5. Then, without washing out the shampoo, comb a small section of your child’s hair close to the scalp with the widest-tooth comb. You do this to pull up the glue “scabs” from your child’s scalp.
  6. The “scabs” will fall apart as you comb them out. Get as much out of your child’s hair as you can with the wide-toothed comb, rinsing the glue from the comb frequently.
  7. Then, use the narrower-toothed comb, again rinsing the glue from the comb frequently.
  8. Repeat these steps all around the head until you stop getting glue up with the comb. This will take at least a half an hour, probably longer.
  9. Then, rinse out the baby shampoo thoroughly. You’ll see even more flecks of glue.
  10. Then, starting with wet hair, wash (or have your child wash) the hair as normal.

It’s a lot of work getting the glue out, but you don’t want to leave it in to re-dry—because that’s even worse.