The daily educational pearl – status epilepticus

Status epilepticus = continuous or intermittent seizures for more than 5 minutes without recovery of consciousness (after 20 min – very high risk of irreversible neurologic damage)

Non-convulsive status epilepticus = abnormal mental state or confusion, with no overt seizure activity or subtle motor signs (twitching, blinking, eye deviation); usually diagnosed on EEG

Epilepsia partialis continua = focal tonico-clonic seizure with NORMAL alertness; can be mistaken for pseudoseizures


Complications of status epilepticus

– irreversible cerebral injury (mainly secondary to hypoxia)

– hyperthermia + DIC

– hypoglycaemia

– rhabdomyolysis + ARF

– profound lactic acidosis

– cardiac dysrhythmias, pulmonary oedema

– injuries – head / spine / limbs / other