Patients with Seizures - How to Diagnose and Treat

Critical Care Nurse April 2016 cover
share Share
When ICU patients experience prolonged seizures, immediate action is required to prevent long-term neurological damage. An article in the April issue of Critical Care Nurse provides diagnosis and treatment guidance for nurses and other clinicians whose patients experience continuous or recurrent seizures, convulsive or non-convulsive.

The article provides specific nursing considerations related to caring for patients during seizures, using guidelines for the evaluation and management of status epilepticus from the Neurocritical Care Society. The article also outlines priorities for nursing care, from the initial five minutes, through the first 15-minute and 60-minute windows, to the following 12 to 24 hours. Treatment begins with management of the airway, breathing and circulation, followed by medication interventions and rapid escalation of therapy to stop the seizures and prevent complications. The article also reviews 13 common anti-epileptic medications, plus dosing, adverse effects and other considerations.

See Also: Electroencephalography (EEG) Underused Investigative Tool in Hospitals

“With their role at the patient’s bedside, nurses are uniquely positioned to assist with the identification and management of status epilepticus to minimise long-term complications,” said co-author Thomas Lawson, RN, MS, ACNP-BC, an acute care nurse practitioner in the neuroscience critical care unit at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus. “A seizure can quickly change from a stressful situation to a life-threatening emergency. Without rapid assessment and treatment, seizures that progress to status epilepticus can cause permanent damage,” he added.

The article includes examples of typical electroencephalographic (EEG) patterns, so that a staff nurse can quickly identify abnormal EEG findings and call the neurologist for an official reading.

Source and image credit: American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

References:

Lawson T, Yeager S (2016) Status epilepticus in adults: a review of diagnosis and treatment. Crit Care Nurse, 36(2): 62-73. doi: 10.4037/ccn2016892.

Published on : Mon, 4 Apr 2016



Related Articles

A portable system to detect traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been developed in Norway. The helmet-based system can run EEG tests... Read more

Sepsis graphic, credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Healthcare providers are the critical link to preventing, recognising, and treating sepsis, say the United States Centers for... Read more

Researchers from the University of Illinois and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois, USA, have developed a new portable... Read more

seizures, diagnosis, treatment, nursing, EEG, medications When ICU patients experience prolonged seizures, immediate action is required to prevent long-term neurological damage. An article in the April issue of Critical Care Nurse provides diagnosis and treatment guidance for nurses and other clinicians whose p

No comment


Please login to leave a comment...

Highlighted Products