What is included in prehospital care for status epilepticus (SE)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2018
  • Author: Julie L Roth, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Supportive care, including ABCs, must be addressed in the prehospital setting. If the seizure fails to stop within 4-5 minutes or if the patient is continuing to seize at the time of emergency medical system (EMS) personnel arrival, prompt administration of anticonvulsants may be necessary.

Because of the refrigeration requirements and the infrequent use of most anticonvulsants, diazepam (Valium) is often the only anticonvulsant available in the prehospital setting. Diazepam may be administered intravenously (IV) or per rectum. Midazolam (Versed) is available in some EMS systems and is currently the subject of study because of the option for intramuscular and intranasal administration.

If persons who know the patient, or who witnessed the onset of the seizures, are present at the scene, EMS providers may be able to collect information that offers clues to the cause of the SE.

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