John Libbey Eurotext

Setting the scene: definition of prolonged seizures, acute repetitive seizures, and status epilepticus. Do we know why seizures stop? Volume 16, special issue 1, October 2014

Author
UCL-Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, and Young Epilepsy, Lingfield, UK
* Correspondence: J. Helen Cross The Prince of Wales's Chair of Childhood Epilepsy, Clinical Neurosciences, UCL-Institute of Child Health, 4/5 Long Yard, London, WC1N 3LU, UK

Status epilepticus is recognised as an acute emergency requiring urgent intervention. The optimal timing of such an intervention during a prolonged seizure, and the reasons for such, have provided much discussion. For operational purposes, a definition of a prolonged seizure of ≥5 minutes requiring intervention appears justified. However, a definition of status epilepticus of ≥30 minutes should stand, with the proportion of seizures proceeding to this clinical state remaining small. The reasons for this may be inherent to an individual, but an understanding of the mechanisms underlying the predisposition may lead to improved management pathways in the future.