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Arrhythmias in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Watching for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy

Dawson, Elizabeth A.; Gupta, Puneet K.; Madden, Christopher J.; Pacheco, Joe; Olson, DaiWai M.

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: June 2015 - Volume 47 - Issue 3 - p 131–134
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000139

ABSTRACT Nurses who work with patients at risk for seizures should be informed that both adult and pediatric patients are at risk for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Although the exact pathophysiology of SUDEP is not determined, patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy represent an at-risk population because of autonomic dysregulation. With prompt treatment, patients with near-SUDEP can continue to lead normal productive lives. This case series presents three patients with near-SUDEP diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy.

Elizabeth A. Dawson, BSN RN-BC PCCN, is a Staff Nurse, Kindred Hospital, Arlington, TX.

Puneet K. Gupta, MD MSE, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX. He is also a Faculty Member at Neurology Consultants of Dallas, Dallas, TX; and a Faculty Member at Netra Health, LLC, McKinney, TX.

Christopher J. Madden, MD FAANS, is a Professor of Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX.

Joe Pacheco, PhD, is a Faculty Member, Netra Health, LLC, McKinney, TX.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to DaiWai M. Olson, PhD RN CCRN, at He is an Associate Professor, Division of Neurocritical Care, Departments of Neurology & Neurotherapeutics and Neurosurgery, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2015 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses