Management of Seizures in the Critically Ill

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Seizures in a critically ill patient are not infrequent phenomena. Physicians are perplexed by the wide range of possible cranial or extracranial etiologies, alerted by the risk for further crucial organ compromise if seizures recur, and confused about the treatment options in an environment rich in complex drug interactions and multiple organ dysfunction. The advent of an armamentarium containing multiple new antiepileptic medications complicates the situation further, since several of them have less known mechanisms of action, side effects, or interactions with other intensive care unit (ICU) medications. This review contains useful information regarding the most common etiologies and treatment options for intensivists, consulting neurologists, neurosurgeons, or other specialized physicians treating ICU patients with seizures.

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