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.
- Aged, 80 and over
- Emergency Service, Hospital
- Emergency Treatment
- Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
- Hospitals, Teaching
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Middle Aged
- Prospective Studies
- Referral and Consultation
- Tomography, X-Ray Computed