Saturday, December 15, 2007

Doctors treat Epilepsy in pregnant women

Government Stanley Hospital in the city proposes to put in place a pregnancy epilepsy registry that will be linked online to the international registry.

The move will provide patients details of medicine and ensure follow-up, neurologists at the hospital said on Tuesday.

The decision to set up a registry was made as 50 pregnant women were currently registered with the Neuro Medicine department for treatment, said assistant professor R. Lakshmi Narasimhan. On Tuesday, a dozen patients undergoing treatment for epilepsy were given awards and certificates for compliance in drug taking, reporting complications promptly, and for ‘best behaviour’ in the department’s outpatient ward. The event was attended by over 200 patients and their attendants.

The department has invalid patients whose attendants come regularly to collect their medicines. The attendants were also honoured. It is the only hospital in the State that provides medicine refills on a monthly basis, the doctors said.

They also conducted a patient education programme, teaching them about the disease, first aid and the medicines to be given in case of emergency. Fatigue and poor diet can trigger seizures. A diet rich in greens, sodium, magnesium and calcium and yoga helps prevent seizures. Women could lead a normal life as their condition is not hereditary, doctors said.

Epilepsy is caused by uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, but is not a lifelong condition for many people. “If you are seizure free for five years the chances of recurrence are very less. We have thousands of patients who have been weaned away from drugs,” Dr. Lakshmi Narasimhan said.

A person has to spend Rs.600 a month on medication that includes multi vitamins. The hospital records the dosage and encourages the patient to maintain a diary of seizures. This helps the doctors monitor the patients’ progress.

For several years now, the hospital has been conducting rehabilitation programme for women, with support from pharmaceutical firms. So far, over a dozen women have been trained in making decorative flower vases, fabric painting and manufacturing household cleaning products such as phenyl.


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