Status Epilepticus

Author: Adam Reuben / Editor: Adam Reuben / Reviewer: Joe Schrieber, John Wilson / Codes: / Published: 05/05/2021


Status epilepticus, a state of prolonged, uncontrolled seizures, is a common emergency department presentation that is potentially life-threatening. Clinicians need an awareness of the existence, and presentations, of the different forms.

After completing this session you will be able to:

  • Differentiate between the different forms of seizure that constitute status epilepticus (SE)
  • List SE classifications
  • Describe the aetiology of different forms of SE


  1. Refer to the following text for additional information: 1. Knake S, Hamer HM, Rosenow F. Status epilepticus: a critical review. Epilepsy Behav 2009;15:10-14.
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  5. Watson C. Status epilepticus. Clinical features, pathophysiology, and treatment. West J Med 1991;155:626-631.
  6. Chen JWY, Wasterlain CG. Status epilepticus: pathophysiology and management in adults. Lancet Neurol 2006;5:246-256.
  7. Basu H, O’Callaghan F. Status epilepticus: beyond guidelines. Curr Paediatrics 2005;15:324-332.
  8. Varelas PN, Spanaki MV, Hacein-Bey L et al. Emergent EEG: indications and diagnostic yield. Neurology 2003;61:702-704
  9. Rainbow J, Browne GJ, Lam LT. Controlling seizures in the prehospital setting: diazepam or midazolam? J Paediatr Child Health 2002;38:582-586.
  10. Lockey AS. Emergency department drug therapy for status epilepticus in adults. Emerg Med J 2002;19:96-100.
  11. Patel NC, Landan IR, Levin J et al. The use of levetiracetam in refractory status epilepticus. Seizure 2006;15:137-141
  12. Mark’s story – a patient’s perspective. An NHS video. View link

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