Crozer-Chester Medical Center Takes Part in a Nationwide Study Designed to Treat Life-Threatening Seizures - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on December 03, 2015

Crozer-Chester Medical Center Takes Part in a Nationwide Study to Treat Life-Threatening Seizures

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Katrina Stier
(610) 447-6314
Katrina.Stier@crozer.org

Derek Isenberg, M.D. is the associate program director of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Isenberg is the associate program director
of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program.

Crozer-Chester Medical Center is taking part in an emergency medicine research study designed to improve and save lives of people who experience life-threatening seizures. This study is designed to treat those who experience a seizure lasting longer than five minutes and have failed to respond to medication. These patients are considered to have Established Status Epilepticus (ESE).

Status Epilepticus (SE) is a life-threatening condition in which the brain is in a state of persistent seizure. It is defined as a seizure or recurrent seizures lasting longer than five minutes without stopping on its own or without waking up.

There are approximately 120,000-180,000 episodes of SE each year in the U.S. About one third of SE patients continue to have a seizure that will not stop or ESE. Long-lasting seizures can affect a person’s ability to think and remember things. It can prevent a person from returning to work or functioning independently. Seizures can cause permanent brain damage or even death.

The Established Status Epilepticus Treatment Trail (ESETT) is an emergency medicine research study designed to try to save and improve the lives of people who have ESE. “Emergency department care for patients who have ESE can vary from hospital to hospital and this study will look at three commonly used medicines given in the emergency departments to treat ESE: phenoytoin (fPht), valproic acid (VPA) and levetiracetam (LVT) to learn which treatment is most effective at stopping a seizure quickly,” says Derek Isenberg, M.D., associate program director of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program.

Normally, researchers get permission (consent) before a person can be included in a study. A person having a seizure that will not stop will not be able to give consent at the time they could be enrolled. Since a seizure that will not stop on its own must be treated quickly, there will not be enough time to locate and talk to the person’s legal representative about the study, so the person will be enrolled in the study without his/her legal representative’s consent. This is referred to as “Exception from Informed Consent.” Once the representative is located or the patient wakes up, they will be asked to give their permission to continue in the study.

The ESETT study is part of the Neurological Emergency Treatment Trials (NETT) and PECARN Networks. Both Networks are funded by the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the federal government. Studies are conducted to learn how to improve emergency care for severe injuries and illnesses of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system in both adults and children.

To learn more about this study, visit www.pnett.org/seizure.htm or www.esett.org. For questions, contact Dr. Isenberg at derek.isenberg@crozer.org.

Crozer-Keystone provides state-of-the-art emergency care to nearly 120,000 patients at four emergency departments throughout Delaware County. Crozer-Chester Medical Center also offers the Crozer Regional Trauma Center, the Nathan Speare Regional Burn Treatment Center and pediatric emergency care. Learn more at www.crozerkeystone.org/emergency.

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