Stopping seizures with a pen

FRESNO, Calif.

Seizures come on suddenly affecting one in 100 people, or two-point-five million Americans. Delemetria Grant is one of them. She began having seizures more than a decade ago.

"It's frightening because you don't know what's going to happen, when it's going to happen," Delmetria Grant, told Action News.

While most don't last longer than a minute, those with prolonged seizures risk brain damage and death.

"We know that the faster we can administer some treatment for them, the more likely that person is to stop seizing and to recover from that," Tricia Ting, M.D., an assistant professor of neurology at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, told Action News.

Doctor Tricia Ting says the current standard of care for patients is through an IV, but it can be difficult trying to access an IV in someone that may be convulsing and moving their arm around. That's why the doctor and her team at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine participated in a national trial to test a new auto-injector.

It's similar to the EpiPen used to treat serious allergic reactions. Results from the national institutes of health study show 73 percent of patients who received injected seizure medicine were seizure free when they got to the hospital versus 63 percent of patients who received IV treatment.

"This is a proven therapy to work to stop seizures that are prolonged and dangerous," Dr. Ting said.

Now Dr. Ting says it's only a matter of time before the auto-injectors are in the hands of patients and their families to stop seizures even sooner. That's something Delmetria believes is priceless.

"My insurance would be happy if it could keep me from being admitted to the hospital," Delemetria says laughing.

About 55 thousand deaths are attributed to prolonged seizures. While it might take a while until an auto-injector EpiPEn is approved for caregivers, paramedics can use the auto-injector now.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Tricia Ting, MD
University of Maryland School of Medicine
(443) 838-8013

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