Continuous EEG use and status epilepticus treatment in Australasia: A practice survey of Australian and New Zealand epileptologists

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Abstract

Objective Continuous electroencephalography (cEEG) is increasingly used to detect non-convulsive seizures in critically ill patients but is not widely practised in Australasia. Use of cEEG is also influencing the management of status epilepticus (SE), which is rapidly evolving. We aimed to survey Australian and New Zealand cEEG use and current treatment of SE Methods A web-based survey was distributed to Epilepsy Society of Australia (ESA) members, between October and November 2019. Adult and paediatric neurologists/epileptologists with ESA membership involved in clinical epilepsy care and cEEG interpretation were invited to participate. Results Thirty-five paediatric/adult epileptologists completed the survey, 51% with over 10 years of consultant experience. cEEG was always available for only 31% of respondents, with the majority having no or only ad hoc access to cEEG. Lack of funding (74%) and personnel (71%) were the most common barriers to performing cEEG. Although experience with SE was common, responses varied regarding treatment approaches for both convulsive and non-convulsive SE. Escalation to anaesthetic treatment of convulsive SE tended to occur later than international guideline recommendations. There was general agreement that formal training in cEEG and national guidelines for SE/cEEG were needed. Conclusions cEEG availability remains limited in Australia, with lack of funding and resourcing being key commonly identified barriers. Current opinions on the use of cEEG and treatment of SE vary reflecting the complexity of management and a rapidly evolving field. An Australian-based guideline for the management of SE, including the role of cEEG is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000102
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Neurology Open
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • anticonvulsants
  • clinical
  • electroencephalography
  • epilepsy
  • intensive care
  • neurophysiol

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