Epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and management of adults referred to a teaching hospital first seizure clinic

D P Breen, M J G Dunn, R J Davenport, A J Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There are scarce data describing the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and management of adults who suffer a suspected first seizure.

AIM: To describe the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and management of adults with a suspected first seizure who are referred to a teaching hospital first seizure clinic over a one year period.

DESIGN: Prospective descriptive study.

METHODS: Data were collected on consecutive adults referred to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh between 4 February 2003 and 10 February 2004.

RESULTS: 232 patients were referred to the first seizure clinic. Median age was 32 years; 53% of patients were male. Lower socioeconomic groups were more likely to present with a suspected first seizure. Nineteen per cent of patients were admitted to hospital after their suspected seizure episode. Appropriate driving advice was reported in 64% of cases. Seventy two per cent of patients were offered a first seizure clinic appointment within six weeks of referral. Nine per cent of patients had a subsequent seizure while awaiting review. Fifty two per cent of patients were confirmed as having a first seizure at the clinic, of which 56% were provoked by alcohol, recreational drugs, or sleep deprivation. Electroencephalography and computed tomography of the brain were the most common investigations ordered at the first seizure clinic (22% and 22% of patients respectively).

CONCLUSION: Adults who suffer a suspected first seizure, and who make a full neurological recovery, can be safely managed as an outpatient. Around half of these patients will have a specialist diagnosis of first seizure and alcohol will be a common precipitating factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-8
Number of pages4
JournalPostgraduate Medical Journal
Volume81
Issue number961
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Electrocardiography
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Female
  • Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Seizures/epidemiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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