Autoinjectors offer a way to treat prolonged seizures

HCMC EMS participates in NIH study that finds method safe, effective
for pre-hospital use

Delivering drugs into muscle using an autoinjector, akin to the EpiPen (used to treat serious allergic reactions), is faster and may be a more effective way to stop statusepilepticus (a prolonged seizure lasting longer than five minutes), according to a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Status epilepticus is a potentially life-threatening emergency that causes 55,000 deaths each year.

Anticonvulsant drugs are typically delivered intravenously (IV) as a first-line treatment for status epilepticus; however, starting an IV in a patient experiencing seizures can pose a challenge for paramedics and waste precious time. Giving an intramuscular shot is easier, faster, and more reliable, especially in patients having convulsions. The researchers sought to determine whether an intramuscular injection, which quickly delivers anticonvulsant medicine into a patient’s thigh muscle, is as safe and effective as giving medicine directly into a vein. The study, which was carried out by paramedics, compared how well delivery by each method stopped patients’ seizures by the time the ambulance arrived at the emergency department. Several local hospitals participated in the 4-year study, but Hennepin Emergency Medical Service (EMS) was the only ambulance service in Minnesota to participate in the Rapid Anticonvulsant Medication Prior to Arrival Trial (RAMPART). RAMPART was conducted through the NINDS’ Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT) network conducted locally by researchers at the University of Minnesota. Continue reading “Autoinjectors offer a way to treat prolonged seizures”