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What is Status Epilepticus?

Status epilepticus (SE) is an extremely serious and often fatal medical emergency. It may be defined as a continuous seizure which lasts for 30 minutes or more, or as 2 or more seizure episodes without the patient recovering full consciousness in between any 2 episodes.   It is thought to be due to the lack of efficacy of GABA-ergic activity which is typically responsible for terminating abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Once SE is in progress, it should be treated by benzodiazepines, with fosphenytoin being added if required. If the patient does not respond, but has persistent seizures, a second-line drug is administered, such as a barbiturate, Propofol, sodium valproate, levetiracetam or topiramate, according to the situation and the facilities available. The patient must a...

Status Epilepticus Risk Factors and Complications

Status epilepticus (SE) is a condition in which seizure activity in the brain persists for prolonged periods of time. It is associated with significant mortality of 15-22% in adults and has a high complication rate. The potential complications are multi-organ in range and may occur at any stage of SE. The early detection and treatment of complications is a crucial step in ensuring the best prognosis for SE. Risk Factors Epidemiological studies and case series have led to the following conclusions: Generalized CSE accounts for almost three of every four cases of SE. The incidence in the US is about 41 or more per 100 000 population The recurrence rate is about 13% Infants below the age of one year and the elderly who are above 60 years are at highest risk of SE. 40% occur below the age of 2...

AES releases new guideline to help physicians treat status epilepticus patients effectively

Status epilepticus – continuous or rapid sequential seizure activity for 30 minutes or more – is a medical emergency with a high mortality rate in both children and adults. Prompt and effective treatment is key; therefore the American Epilepsy Society (AES) has released a new guideline to help physicians, hospitals, and health systems treat patients effectively. The guideline is published in the January/February issue of Epilepsy Currents, the AES journal. Each year, between 50,000 and 150,000 Americans have status epilepticus with rates of death estimated at less than 3 percent for children and up to 30 percent for adults. This guideline focuses on convulsive status epilepticus in particular because it is the most common type of status epilepticus and is associated with substa...

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