Status epilepticus (often simply called Status) is a life-threatening condition where the brain is in a constant state of epileptic seizure. It is a medical emergency. Definitions vary, but generally, a seizure that lasts five minutes or longer is considered to be a status epilepticus. About ten to twenty percent of the people falling into this condition will die from it. In the case the condition is handled well, people can survive with little or no brain damage.
People in a status epilepticus are unable to end this seizure on their own, they are often unconscious and unable to react. The most common way to end a status is to inject specialized drugs. In the case these drugs do not help, the patient must be treated in the intensive care unit.
Causes[change | change source]
Status epilepticus is generally not linked to Epilepsy. Only about one in four people who suffer from a status epilepticus have epilepsy. The status epilepticus can also occur for the following reasons, amongst others:
- Exposure to nerve gas
- Intoxicants, or bad reactions to drugs
- Insufficient dosage of a drug the patient takes
- Sudden withdrawal of a drug
- Effect of alcoholic drinks, symptom of alcohol withdrawal
- Gastroenteritis (a special form of diarrhea) while taking anticonvulsants
- Metabolic disturbances, such as problems with the liver or kidney
- Insomnia or sleep deprivation (sleeping too little)
References[change | change source]
- Nair, PP; Kalita, J., Misra, U. K. (Jul–Sep 2011). "Status epilepticus: why, what, and how". Journal of Postgraduate Medicine 57 (3): 242–52. . .
- Trinka, E; Höfler, J; Zerbs, A (September 2012). "Causes of status epilepticus.". Epilepsia 53 Suppl 4: 127–38. . .
- Stasiukyniene, V.; Pilvinis, V.; Reingardiene, D.; Janauskaite, L. (2009). "[Epileptic seizures in critically ill patients]". Medicina (Kaunas) 45 (6): 501–7. .