Modifiable Risk Factors in Critically Ill Children: Moving Beyond Seizures

It is widely believed that seizures per se significantly contribute to adverse cognitive, behavioral, and motor outcomes in children with epilepsy and those with status epilepticus, although the underlying cause of seizures may be the most important factor. In critically ill children and adults, neurointensive care units increasingly emphasize EEG monitoring as a mechanism for early diagnosis and management of both electroclinical and electrographic-only (subclinical) seizures. While numerous studies have shown an association between seizures and poor outcomes in critically ill patients, it remains controversial whether seizures causatively contribute to adverse outcomes or whether they are simply a symptom of an underlying brain dysfunction.

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