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ILAE updates international guidance on Status Epilepticus

The  International League Against Epilepsy's (ILAE)has recently recommended new guidance regarding the care and treatment of Status Epilepticus, aligning them with the current NICE Epilepsy guidelines.

The ILAE working group on Status Epilepticus has recommended a new definition for this type of seizure emergency. This definition recognises the need for a shorter time period (5 minutes) when prolonged seizure(s) should be recognised and action taken, but also keeps the longer time frame (30 minutes) for a seizure to help recognise when a prolonged seizure leads to poor outcomes.

Jane Hanna, Chief Executive of SUDEP Action comments: “SUDEP Action welcomes the recommendation of the ILAE on Status Epilepticus. In the past 30 minutes was treated as the period for Status Epilepticus. Whilst a longer period for prolonged seizures is retained to mark the time when outcomes are poor for patients, the inclusion of a shorter time period marking the need for early intervention after 5 minutes is good news for patients and supports the national epilepsy standard in the UK”.

This clarification on timings related to accessing treatment and medical attention for those experiencing Status Epilepticus is an important step towards standardising epilepsy care guidelines globally. It also raises awareness to people with epilepsy, their family, carers and health professionals of the importance of having a care plan in place, particularly in the case of such emergency situations, so they are clear on what should happen in such instances. 

More information about the ILAE’s working group report into Status Epilepticus is available here