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Subclinical seizures are common in hospitalized patients and require electroencephalography (EEG) for detection and intervention. At our institution, continuous EEG (cEEG) is not available, but intermittent EEGs are subject to constant live interpretation. As part of quality improvement (QI), we sought to estimate the residual missed seizure rate at a typical quaternary Canadian health care center without cEEG.
We calculated residual risk percentages using the clinically validated 2HELPS2B score to risk-stratify EEGs before deriving a risk percentage using a MATLAB calculator which modeled the risk decay curve for each recording. We generated a range of estimated residual seizure rates depending on whether a pre-cEEG screening EEG was simulated, EEGs showing seizures were included, or repeat EEGs on the same patient were excluded.
Over a 4-month QI period, 499 inpatient EEGs were scored as low (n = 125), medium (n = 123), and high (n = 251) seizure risk according to 2HELPS2B criteria. Median recording duration was 1:00:06 (interquartile range, IQR 30:40–2:21:10). The model with highest residual seizure rate included recordings with confirmed electrographic seizures (median 20.83%, IQR 20.6–26.6%), while the model with lowest residual seizure rate was in seizure-free recordings (median 10.59%, IQR 4%–20.6%). These rates were significantly higher than the benchmark 5% miss-rate threshold set by 2HELPS2B (p<0.0001).
We estimate that intermittent inpatient EEG misses 2–4 times more subclinical seizures than the 2HELPS2B-determined acceptable 5% seizure miss-rate threshold for cEEG. Future research is needed to determine the impact of potentially missed seizures on clinical care.
In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
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