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August 1955

A New Treatment of Status Epilepticus: Intravenous Injections of a Local Anesthetic (Lidocaine)

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Physiology, Karolinska Institutet, and the Neurosurgical and Neurotraumatological Clinics, Serafimerlasarettet.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;74(2):208-214. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330140092017

Status epilepticus is a serious complication which sometimes occurs in epileptics even when the disease seems to be under control with the aid of antiepileptic drugs. The status often occurs in connection with acute brain injuries and also during the early postoperative course of brain operations. In Europe status epilepticus is usually treated with intravenous barbiturates (Somnifene; Hypnofen [20% solution of diethylbarbituric and allylisopropylbarbituric acid]), which generally stop the fit provided that the patient is deeply anesthetized. This treatment, however, has certain disadavantages. The deep sleep often results in unsatisfactory ventilation of the lungs, which may give rise to respiratory complications. Furthermore, it is impossible to foresee the duration of the status in progress, and therefore the patient may be anesthetized for an unnecessarily long time, since the barbiturates are slowly eliminated. When the status develops during the days immediately following a brain operation, this therapy has still another disadvantage