Epilepsy 911: Raising Awareness on Urgent Care for Epilepsy

By Faye McNall, Director of Education, ASET

Epilepsy 911 is a very important community service event taking place in conjunction with the ASET 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans. ASET is offering a four-hour educational session for Emergency Service Personnel, EMTs and First Responders on the topic of urgent care for epilepsy patients. Neurodiagnostic technologists are also invited to attend and CEUs will be offered to both EMTs and technologists.

Because neurodiagnostic technologists work so closely with epilepsy patients, we understand many of the challenges they face. We know how important it is for the urgent intervention of seizures to be performed in the correct manner. Bystanders, family members, and first responders need to recognize the event as a seizure and begin appropriate treatment as soon as possible.  It is not always easy to recognize a seizure that includes atypical symptoms, or pediatric seizures such as infantile spasms. Appropriate treatment must be started quickly as complications and comorbidity, such as Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), can become life-threatening. SUDEP is not well known, even in the medical community, so it is important that first responders and emergency personnel are aware of potential complications!

We have invited the EMTs in the New Orleans area to come to Epilepsy 911 on Wednesday, August 15 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m., the day before the ASET annual conference officially begins. Four interesting and educational presentations are scheduled with expert speakers who are well experienced with epilepsy treatment and managing emergency situations. The presentations are also very pertinent for neurodiagnostic technologists, so please consider registering for this special event with your annual conference registration. For EMTs that wish to register, please contact [email protected].

The full schedule and lecture descriptions follow:

Course schedule:

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.    Recognizing and Classifying Seizures and non-Epileptic Events that Resemble Seizures

By Robin C. Davis, M.D., Epilepsy Division, Department of Neurology, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA

Learning objectives:

  • List the major categories of seizures according to the International Classification of Seizures
  • Recognize symptoms of all seizure types common to adult patients
  • Differentiate seizures from non-epileptic events which may resemble seizures
  • Consider factors that may have contributed to the seizure

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.   Pediatric and Neonatal Seizures – An Overview of Symptoms and Causes

By Shannon McGuire, M.D., Children’s Hospital, New Orleans, LA

Learning objectives:

  • Name the seizure disorders and epileptic syndromes that occur in childhood
  • Recognize the subtle seizure symptoms of the neonate
  • Recognize life-threatening events and contributing factors to pediatric seizures

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.    Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.   Complications of Seizures: Status Epilepticus, Post-ictal state, Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, Medical                                               and Social Consequences

By Uma Menon, M.D., MBA, FACNS, FAES, International Center for Epilepsy, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA

Learning objectives:

  • Define parameters of status epilepticus and recognize this life-threatening situation
  • Recognize features of the post-ictal state
  • List factors that contribute to SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy)
  • Name various comorbidities that occur as a result of epilepsy
  • Address the social implications of epilepsy

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.   Assessment of Seizures and Current Trends in Emergency Management of Seizures

By Rana Abusoufeh, M.D., Louisiana State University Health, New Orleans, LA                  

Learning objectives:

  • List methods to assess patient alertness and ability to respond
  • Develop skills to document a wide variety of seizure symptoms through astute patient observation
  • Determine which standard treatment options are appropriate for age, seizure type and other contributing factors
  • Discuss future assessment techniques that may be offered in the pre-hospital environment, such as EEG monitoring with telemetry