Division of Neurology and Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Purpose. According to published literature status epilepticus (SE) is associated with 7-39% mortality. Timely management is one variable that potentially influences the outcome. We sought to review the process of acute management of SE at the University of Alberta Hospital and correlate outcome with adherence to a recommended treatment protocol. Methods. We identified 86 patients 18 years of age or older who presented with convulsive SE to our emergency room between 2000 and 2004. We defined SE as continuous convulsive activity for 30 or more minutes or ≥ 2 convulsions with incomplete recovery in the interim. Information was collected pertaining to etiology, epidemiology, and management. We then reviewed the relationship of the treatment protocol in terms of mortality and morbidity. Results. Forty five patients were included. There were 18 males and 27 females with a mean age of 45 years; 80% were known to have epilepsy. Sub-therapeutic drug levels were found in the majority 60%; benzodiazepines (diazepam 81% and lorazepam 19%) were the first line agent in 93.3% mostly initiated by paramedics (EMS); 48.9% of patients required intubation and 26.7% required admission to intensive care. Four patients died. Control of convulsive SE was obtained sooner for patients in whom therapy was administered according to the recommended time frame (p ≤ 0.02). Conclusion. The presence of strict treatment protocols for SE made readily available for the treating staff could potentially improve the outcome of patients. Despite the lack of standardized treatment protocols among various physicians, most patients are treated according to generally recommended sequence and time frames. Analysis of this data will help devise prospective treatment protocols.