The New Wave: Time to bring EEG to the Emergency Department

  • Baki S
  • Omurtag A
  • Fenton A
 et al. 
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ABSTRACT: Emergency electroencephalography (EEG) is indicated in the diagnosis and management of non-convulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) underlying an alteration in the level of consciousness. NCSE is a frequent, treatable, and under-diagnosed entity that can result in neurological injury. This justifies the need for EEG availability in the emergency department (ED). There is now emerging evidence for the potential benefits of EEG monitoring in various acute conditions commonly encountered in the ED, including convulsive status after treatment, breakthrough seizures in chronic epilepsy patients who are otherwise controlled, acute head trauma, and pseudo seizures. However, attempts to allow for routine EEG monitoring in the ED face numerous obstacles. The main hurdles to an optimized use of EEG in the ED are lack of space, the high cost of EEG machines, difficulty of finding time, as well as the expertise needed to apply electrodes, use the machines, and interpret the recordings. We reviewed the necessity for EEGs in the ED, and to meet the need, we envision a product that is comprised of an inexpensive single-use kit used to wirelessly collect and send EEG data to a local and/or remote neurologist and obtain an interpretation for managing an ED patient.

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