Study finds new help for people with seizures
Injecting patients in the thigh with a drug-loaded syringe is a safe and effective way to stop a seizure in an emergency, according to results of a national study released today, a finding which could pave the way toward making such syringes as widely available as EpiPens used to treat severe allergic reactions.
The two-year study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that a single stab from an auto-injector was more effective in stopping a prolonged seizure than the traditional method of inserting an intravenous line and delivering the drug directly into the bloodstream.
The results are likely to quickly change how such seizures, which can be life-threatening if they're not stopped quickly, are treated by paramedics. But they could have more long-term repercussions, if doctors start giving the auto-injectors to epileptic patients, some of whom have several severe seizures a year, to use at home, much as people with severe allergies carry epinephrine syringes with them.