John Libbey Eurotext

Importance of access to epilepsy monitoring units during the COVID-19 pandemic: consensus statement of the International League Against Epilepsy and the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology Volume 23, issue 4, August 2021

Authors
1 Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Neurology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus and Danish Epilepsy Centre, Dianalund, Denmark
2 Department of Neurology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA and Neurodiagnostic Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA
3 Department of Epilepsy, Movement Disorders and Physiology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
4 Neurology Unit, Department of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Sultan Qaboos university, Sultanate of Oman
5 UCL NIHR BRC Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, member of ERN EpiCARE, and Young Epilepsy Lingfield, UK
6 Department of Paediatric Neurology, Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, Neuroscience Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa
7 EEG & Epilepsy Unit, University Hospital of Geneva, Medical Faculty of the University of Geneva, Switzerland
8 Department of Neurology, University Medical Center, Göttingen, Germany
9 Institute of Neurology, Hospital de Clínicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República, Uruguay
10 Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Canada
11 Department of Neurology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, USA
12 Department of Neurology, Christian Doppler University Hospital, Paracelsus Medical University and Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Salzburg, Austria, Affiliated EpiCARE Partner; Neuroscience Institute, Christian Doppler University Hospital, Salzburg, Austria; Department of Public Health, Health Services Research and Health Technology Assessment, UMIT – University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol, Austria
* Correspondence: Sándor Beniczky Danish Epilepsy Centre – Clinical Neurophysiology Visbys Allé 5, Dianalund 4293, Denmark

Restructuring of healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to lockdown of epilepsy monitoring units (EMUs) in many hospitals. The ad-hoc taskforce of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (IFCN) highlights the detrimental effect of postponing video-EEG monitoring of patients with epilepsy and other paroxysmal events. The taskforce calls for action for continued functioning of EMUs during emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Long-term video-EEG monitoring is an essential diagnostic service. Access to video-EEG monitoring of the patients in the EMUs must be given high priority. Patients should be screened for COVID-19, before admission, according to the local regulations. Local policies for COVID-19 infection control should be adhered to during the video-EEG monitoring. In cases of differential diagnosis in which reduction of antiseizure medication is not required, home video-EEG monitoring should be considered as an alternative in selected patients.