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Neonatal Seizures

Seizures are a common neurological emergency in the neonatal period, occurring in 1–5 per 1000 live births.1 The majority of neonatal seizures are provoked by an acute illness or brain insult with an underlying aetiology either documented or suspected, that is, these are acute provoked seizures (as opposed to epilepsy). They are also invariably focal in nature.

Clinical diagnosis of neonatal seizures is difficult. This is in part because there may be no, or very subtle, clinical features, and also because neonates frequently exhibit non-epileptic movements that can be mistaken for epileptic seizures.

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Get-There-Itis (Plan Continuation Bias)

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) are well-aware of the dangers of Plan Continuation Bias:

“The continuation of an original plan even with the availability of new information that suggests that the plan should be abandoned or at least updated.” AKA Get-There-Itis.

Get-There-Itis has been the cause of multiple fatal air-accidents, where pilots have allowed stressors to bias their decision making, and fatally stick to a failing plan. But… these stressors effect everyone and clinicians are not immune!

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Suspected/Confirmed patients should be ISOLATED & wear PPE 

Treating Staff – (should not be; non-immunised, pregnant or immunocompromised)

  • single-use, disposable gloves
  • single-use, disposable apron (or gown if extensive splashing or spraying, or performing an aerosol generating procedure (AGP))
  • FFP3 – respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
  • eye/face protection (goggles or visor)


  • Surgical face mask


  • Measles is highly infectious – (4 day prior to and after rash appears) suspected patients should be isolated within the ED
  • Measles Immunisation – 1 dose 90% effective, 2 doses 95% effective
  • Measles is a notifiable disease

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Medical SDEC

Note: If the referrer feels the presentation of a patient is not within the inclusion/exclusion criteria they can still contact the SDEC co-ordinator and check for acceptance into SDEC.

  • ED referrals ONLY 08-18:00
  • Check Capacity prior to sending
  • Investigations: FBC/U&E/Clotting/ECG

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LVAD – Resus & Troubleshooting

LVADs (Left Ventricular Assist Device) are becoming more common and there are patients in our region with them as a bridge to transplant or recovery and in some cases a destination therapy.

The patient and their family will likely know more about this device than you and should have brought spare parts. Our local LVAD centre is Wythenshaw however, there are other units around the country the patient may direct you to.

The patient may not have a palpable pulse, the blood pressure will be low and the heart pump sounds like a buzz when you listen.

If patient is unresponsive or has a history of collapse its important to troubleshoot the device and resusitation may be required

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