Hospital hosts awareness day

Children attend the paediatric neurophysiology service at the Red Cross Childrens Hospital for electroencephalogram studies performed by clinical technologists.

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital raised awareness about epilepsy, on Sunday June 21, National Epilepsy Day.

The neurology service at the hospital has weekly outpatient epilepsy clinics and provides access to qualified and experienced clinicians daily.

Hospital spokesperson, Dwayne Evans, said there are some 2 000 clinic visits by around 800 regular and new young patients each year.

Head of paediatric neurology, Professor Jo Wilmshurst, said: “The service is unique in that it offers care to children from self-limiting forms of epilepsy through to children who are medically resistant and may need alternative interventions and treatments.”

Professor Wilmshurst said the service is strengthened by the multidisciplinary team who co-ordinate optimal care, which include the neurology doctors and clinic nurses, the neurophysiology technologists, neurosurgeons, child development specialists, neuropsychologists, child psychiatry and rehabilitation staff.

The neurophysiology service has two trained paediatric clinical technologists who perform detailed electrophysiology studies, inclusive of video electroencephalogram (EEG) telemetry. The EEG telemetry records brain wave activity by using electrodes to pick up electrical signals from brain cells. “This is the only centre in the government sphere, with access to this tool, which is essential for understanding complex and undefined epilepsies,” said Mr Evans.

During the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic this service had to adapt. Mr Evans said many children are managed by telemedicine to limit their exposure to the hospital setting, but urgent and worrying cases are still seen and provided with full access to care. “Members of the team have assisted with the development of International League Against Epilepsy guidelines for safe care of people with epilepsy during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.