St. Louis Children’s Hospital expands Pediatric Epilepsy Center

Due to an increase in demand for procedures and services, St. Louis Children’s Hospital is expanding its Pediatric Epilepsy Center. The expansion will include additional surgical technology, two epileptologists, EEG technologists and an ICU EEG.

In 2016, epilepsy surgery volumes at Children’s increased more than 30 percent from the previous year. To accommodate the growth in volume, the Pediatric Epilepsy Center is adding two epileptologists. Stuart Tomko, MD, who trained at Texas Children’s and Boston Children’s Hospitals, will begin working at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in July. Dr. Guerriero, who finished his residency and fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital before coming to St. Louis Children’s Hospital less than a year ago, will be spearheading the new ICU EEG program. The ICU EEG program, currently in a pilot phase, will debut at Children’s this summer.

According to Bradley Schlaggar, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric and Developmental Neurology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the ICU EEG program will allow physicians to identify and treat seizures more easily using EEG machines.

“This service will increase our ability to optimize outcomes for patients in our pediatric, cardiac and neonatal intensive care units,” says Dr. Schlaggar. “It has become increasingly clear that neurocritically ill children have clinically unrecognized seizures with sufficient frequency that it is important to use EEG technology to identify those seizures.”

Children’s is adding several EEG technologists to identify the source of seizures in patients using EEG equipment. “We are transferring responsibility for patient observation in the epilepsy monitoring unit from our patient care techs to the EEG techs in order to improve the quality and consistency of the process,” says Susan Hibbits, OTR/L, director of Neuroscience at Children’s. With the addition of new technologists and equipment, St. Louis Children’s Hospital plans to quickly and accurately identify seizures in patients in order to provide them with proper care.

As demand increases for advanced epilepsy treatment, St. Louis Children’s Hospital say it will continually expand the Epilepsy Center to accommodate patients from the St. Louis region, across the United States and around the world.