Now Open at NHRMC: Region's First and Only Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

February 09, 2015

WILMINGTON – Patients as young as infants can now be closely monitored, diagnosed and treated for sleep disorders and seizures without having to leave their community.

In November, the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital became home to the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit — the only program of its kind in the area for patients from infancy through age 18. Specialized equipment has been installed in the hospital, allowing for close study of pediatric patients with sleep disturbances and suspected seizure activity.

This technology is part of the Pediatric Neurology program that began in March with the arrival of pediatric neurologist Sasid Taravath, MD, to the hospital staff. The program enhances continuity of care, and allows families requiring specialty care to stay close to home.

Sleep Disorders Center: The new sleep disorders center admits patients as young as infants for a one-night study. Those who are admitted for sleep studies may be struggling with obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, bedwetting, sleepwalking, narcolepsy, insomnia, hypersomnia or a combination of conditions. Throughout the night, a registered sleep technician measures and records results using highly specialized equipment. Dr. Taravath can then diagnose specific sleep disorders and prescribe appropriate treatment.

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit: A patient with confirmed or suspected seizure activity is closely examined for several days in the epilepsy monitoring unit, where an expert technician observes the patient via video feed. Electrodes placed on the scalp, arms and legs record brain wave activity, creating a long-term video EEG. The unit expects to admit approximately three patients per week, with an average stay of three days.

Before the opening of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, pediatric patients in need of a sleep study were referred out of the area or seen by a local sleep lab only if they met certain criteria. Pediatric patients with suspected seizure activity were either referred out of the area for monitoring, or tested using outpatient means.

Direct referrals from a pediatric patient’s physician are needed for admission to the new center. For more information, please visit

New Hanover Regional Medical Center Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital offers obstetrical care for routine and high-risk deliveries, welcoming more than 4,000 new lives each year. The hospital is dedicated to a family-centered birth experience and providing a family setting that supports rooming-in and skin-to-skin contact between newborn babies and their mothers. For babies born premature or critically ill, the hospital is home to a 45-bed, all-private-room Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the region’s first. NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital also has the only pediatric unit and pediatric intensive care unit in the region.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating almost 6,000 jobs directly and another 6,000 jobs indirectly.