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Outpatient management of prolonged seizures and seizure clusters to prevent progression to a higher-level emergency: Consensus recommendations of an expert working group

Journal Contribution - e-publication

OBJECTIVE: The management of prolonged seizures (PS) and seizure clusters (SC) is impeded by the lack of international, evidence-based guidance. We aimed to develop expert recommendations regarding consensus definitions of PS, SC, and treatment goals to prevent progression to higher-level emergencies such as status epilepticus (SE). METHODS: An expert working group, comprising 12 epileptologists, neurologists, and pharmacologists from Europe and North America, used a modified Delphi consensus methodology to develop and anonymously vote on statements. Consensus was defined as ≥75% voting "Agree"/"Strongly agree." RESULTS: All group members strongly agreed that termination of an ongoing seizure in as short a time as possible is the primary goal of rapid and early seizure termination (REST) and that an ideal medication for REST would start to act within 2 min of administration to terminate ongoing seizure activity. Consensus was reached on the terminology defining PS (with proposed thresholds of 5 min for prolonged focal seizures and 2 min for prolonged absence seizures and the convulsive phase of bilateral tonic-clonic seizures) and SC (an abnormal increase in seizure frequency compared with the individual patient's usual seizure pattern). All group members strongly agreed or agreed that patients who have experienced a PS should be offered a REST medication, and all patients who have experienced a SC should be offered an acute cluster treatment (ACT). Further, when prescribing a REST medication or ACT, a seizure action plan should be agreed upon in consultation with the patient and caregiver. SIGNIFICANCE: The expert working group had a high level of agreement on the recommendations for defining and managing PS and SC. These recommendations will complement the existing guidance for the management of acute seizures, with the possibility of treating them earlier to potentially avoid progression to more severe seizures, including SE.
Journal: Epileptic Disorders
ISSN: 1294-9361
Publication year:2024