Vital Signs

Sometimes when a seizure hits, even the doctor doesn't know whether it's real

By Tony Dajer|Wednesday, November 1, 2000
"Notification," the radio crackled. "thirty-three-year-old female, status epilepticus. Down at her doctor's office. No response to Valium times two. Three minutes out." The nurses sprang to work preparing the medication cart, IV bags, and blood-drawing kit. Status epilepticus can spell disaster. Unrelenting electrical discharges from neurons force a patient's limbs to contract and release without pause. The facial muscles twitch and contort, as if pummeled by a hail of invisible darts. The face ...

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