Status Epilepticus

Watch this video to find out what status epilepticus is and what to expect when a loved one is going through it. Thank you to Sage Therapeutics for their support of this project.

What Is Status Epilepticus?

Status epilepticus is said to occur when a seizure lasts too long or when seizures occur close together and the person doesn't recover between seizures. Just like there are different types of seizures, there are also different types of status epilepticus.

Over the last several decades, the length of seizure that is considered as status epilepticus has shortened. Years ago, a seizure needed to last longer than 20 minutes to be considered status epilepticus. In the last few years, it is now defined as any seizure greater than 5 minutes. This makes sense because most seizures do not last longer than 2 minutes. The longer a seizure lasts, the less likely it will stop on its own without medication. Very long seizures (i.e., status epilepticus) are dangerous and even increase the chance of death. It is important that these long seizures are identified early, so they can be treated early.

Epilepsy.com Seizure Emergency Editor Matthew Hoerth MD speaks with Dr. Christopher Kramer, a neurointensive care specialist from the Mayo Clinic, about the importance of recognizing and treating status epilepticus. A paper published in the Neurocritical Care Journal from 2012 nicely outlined guidelines for treating this neurologic emergency. This paper detailed the subtypes of status epilepticus, emphasized the high mortality rates of this condition, and summarized the best medical evidence for treatment.

Authored By:

Joseph I. Sirven MD
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN
Steven Schachter MD

on Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Reviewed By:

Joseph I. Sirven MD
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN

on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Resources

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