Treatment of status epilepticus in a large community hospital.Epilepsy Behav. 2012 Mar; 23(3):235-40.EB
Status epilepticus (SE) is a neurological emergency usually requiring immediate medical treatment. Due to the lack of adequate studies, treatment guidelines and their application vary between countries and institutions. We intended to analyze current treatment of SE in a German community hospital.
We retrospectively identified patients from a large community hospital in northern Germany who had been diagnosed with SE between August 2008 and December 2010. Their charts were reviewed regarding sociodemographic variables, treatment and outcome.
We studied the first SE episode in 172 patients with a median age of 69 years (range 18-90 years). The etiology was acute symptomatic in 30 patients, progressive symptomatic in 22 patients and remote symptomatic in 120 patients. Presentation was generalized convulsive in 60 patients, non-convulsive in 72 patients and simple motor/aura in 40 patients. Median latency from onset to treatment start was 0.75 h (range 0.2-336 h). Initial treatment had a success rate (SR) of 40%. Second line treatment had a success rate of 54%. In patients whose seizures were refractory to the first two drugs, success rates were between 31% and 55%, with only a minority of the patients receiving established drugs such as phenytoin or barbiturates. Multivariate analysis revealed non-convulsive semiology as the only factor significantly associated with refractoriness. SE could be terminated in 95% of the patients and in-hospital mortality was 10%. Benzodiazepines and phenytoin had the most severe side effects.
Status epilepticus can be terminated successfully and with low in-hospital mortality in the vast majority of the patients treated in a large community hospital. The success rate of each treatment step is between 30% and 55% regardless of the substances used.