EEG Artifacts in the Intensive Care Unit Setting

Obtaining a quality EEG in the intensive care unit (ICU) is a very rewarding experience for the EEG technologist. "Quality" is defined as a measure of excellence or state of being free from defects. It takes more than knowing how to obtain a quality record; it takes hands-on experience and time. Electroencephalography is a valuable neurodiagnostic tool in critically ill patients. However, the ICU is a challenging environment to obtain a high quality EEG tracing because artifacts are exceedingly common. Dealing with artifact effectively is an essential function of the EEG technologist. The goal of this paper is to review both physiological and nonphysiological artifacts commonly encountered in an ICU setting. How to recognize, troubleshoot, and prove that an EEG pattern is an artifact will be reviewed for the novice EEG technologist. KEY WORDS. Artifacts, EEG technologist, electroencephalography, intensive care unit (ICU), nonphysiological artifact, physiological artifact.

© American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, Inc. Mar 2010. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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