Long-Term Care

Incidence and prevalence of seizures

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, April 22, 2010

Seizures, epilepsy, and status epilepticus occur with increasing frequency in elderly adults. Idiopathic seizures are those with no identifiable cause. Symptomatic seizures have an identifiable cause. Although idiopathic seizures can occur in elderly persons, most seizures occur as the result of an identifiable cause. Common causes of seizures in the long-term care facility population include:

  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Drug toxicity
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Cerebral infarction
  • Cerebral anoxia
  • Head trauma
  • Intracranial infection
  • Alcohol or drug withdrawal, interaction, or reaction
  • Reduction or withdrawal of anticonvulsant drugs
  • Third-degree heart block or other cardiac dysrhythmia
  • Hypocalcemia
  • Hyponatremia
  • Uremia
  • Brain tumor
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Cortical vein thrombosis

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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