Objectives About 100 000 people present to hospitals each year in England with an epileptic seizure. How they are managed is unknown; thus, the National Audit of Seizure management in Hospitals (NASH) set out to assess prior care, management of the acute event and follow-up of these patients. This paper describes the data from the second audit conducted in 2013.
Setting 154 emergency departments (EDs) across the UK.
Participants Data from 4544 attendances (median age of 45 years, 57% men) showed that 61% had a prior diagnosis of epilepsy, 12% other neurological problems and 22% were first seizure cases. Each ED identified 30 consecutive adult cases presenting due to a seizure.
Primary and secondary outcome measures Details were recorded of the patient's prior care, management at hospital and onward referral to neurological specialists onto an online database. Descriptive results are reported at national level.
Results Of those with epilepsy, 498 (18%) were on no antiepileptic drug therapy and 1330 (48%) were on monotherapy. Assessments were often incomplete and witness histories were sought in only 759 (75%) of first seizure patients, 58% were seen by a senior doctor and 57% were admitted. For first seizure patients, advice on further seizure management was given to 264 (27%) and only 55% were referred to a neurologist or epilepsy specialist. For each variable, there was wide variability among sites that was not explicable. For the sites who partook in both audits, there was a trend towards better care in 2013, but this was small and dwarfed by the intersite variability.
Conclusions These results have parallels with the Sentinel Audit of Stroke performed a decade earlier. There is wide intersite variability in care covering the entire care pathway, and a need for better organised and accessible care for these patients.
- ACCIDENT & EMERGENCY MEDICINE
- care pathways
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