Treatment delay in status epilepticus - More effective prehospital symptom recognition warranted

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Background: The outcome of status epilepticus (SE) can be improved by facilitating early recognition and treatment with antiepileptic drugs. The purpose of this study was to analyze the treatment delay of SE in a prospectively recruited patient cohort. Improvements to the treatment process are suggested. Methods: Consecutive adult patients with SE were recruited in the emergency department of Kuopio University Hospital (KUH) between March 23 and December 31, 2015. SE was defined as a prolonged (> 5 min) epileptic seizure or recurrent tonic-clonic seizures (≥ 3 seizures within any 24 h). Diagnostic and treatment delays and the features of SE were subject to statistical analysis. Results: We recorded 151 cases of SE during the study period. First-line treatment was initiated outside of hospital in 79 cases (52.3%), with a significantly shorter median delay compared to intrahospital initiation (28 min vs. 2 h 5 min, p < 0.001). Forty-six episodes of SE (30.5%) were not recognized during the prehospital phase. The median delay in recognition of tonic-clonic SE (23 min) was significantly shorter than in focal aware (2 h 0 min, p = 0.045) or focal impaired awareness SE (2 h 25 min, p < 0.001). Second-line treatment was used in 91 cases (60.3%), with a median delay of 2 h 42 min. Anesthesia was used in seven cases (4.6%) with refractory SE, with a median delay of 6 h 40 min. Conclusions: SE is often not recognized during the prehospital phase of treatment, which delays the initiation of first-line treatment. Intrahospital delay could be reduced by streamlining patient transition between the three lines of treatment.




Sairanen, J. J., Kantanen, A. M., Hyppölä, H. T., & Kälviäinen, R. K. (2019). Treatment delay in status epilepticus - More effective prehospital symptom recognition warranted. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 27(1).

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