Can endotracheal intubation be the first step in management of nonconvulsive status epilepticus?: A case report

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Abstract

Rationale:

Nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) is prolonged seizure activity without motor manifestations. Clinically, there are certain examination findings, in addition to elements of history, that help differentiate it from other encephalopathies. When diagnosing NCSE, the physician faces significant difficulties due to inconsistent clinical presentation and somewhat nonspecific electroencephalogram (EEG) criteria.

Patient concerns:

To highlight the problems faced when dealing with such a patient, a case of a 29-year-old male who presented with an altered state of consciousness is put forth for the reader. Only after an extensive laboratory and radiological workup had ruled out other causes, an eventual diagnosis was established when clinical features were correlated with suggestive EEG results.

Diagnoses:

The diagnosis that was reached was NCSE.

Interventions:

The initial therapeutic interventions generally deployed in such a scenario ultimately failed and consequently the patient had to be sedated and intubated, while being kept on antiepileptic medication.

Outcomes:

This measure resulted in satisfactory recovery.

Lessons:

Accordingly, we recommend consideration of NCSE in any unconscious patient whose presentation cannot be explained by other disorders. Furthermore, we suggest moving directly to utilizing anesthetic agents and endotracheal intubation, together with anti-epileptic drugs, in the treatment regimen in order to optimize patient outcomes.

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