New equipment at WVU Hospitals helps epilepsy patients
WVU Hospitals invests $1 million in Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
 WVU Hospitals employees, Janet Poole (l) and Melody Peterman, examine brain waves displayed on the new monitors inside the “control room” at the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.

New equipment will allow WVU doctors to more accurately diagnose and effectively treat patients with epilepsy.  WVU Hospitals upgraded its Epilepsy Monitoring Unit with new neurophysiology equipment, which allows doctors to monitor a patient’s brain waves, searching for the section of the brain that’s causing the person to have seizures.

“We are the only facility in West Virginia that has the technology and clinical expertise to evaluate patients in this manner,” said John Brick, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurology.  “This new equipment is essential in determining if someone is eligible for surgery, and it’s more powerful than the equipment we had.”

WVU Hospitals’ purchase includes 19 pieces of equipment, including monitors, cameras and outpatient monitoring devices.  In addition to being installed in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit on the 9th floor of the hospital, the new equipment will also be available in various intensive care units, including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in WVU Children’s Hospital.  This will allow doctors to see patients’ brain activities in real-time on a monitor in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit while the patient is in intensive care, a service that was not previously available.

“This is very helpful in diagnosing seizures and is particularly important for babies,” said Tracy Weimer, M.D., a WVU neurologist.  “Seizures in newborns can be very hard to diagnose, especially in premature infants.”
WVU’s Epilepsy Center provides multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art care for adults and children with seizure disorders.  The level 4 comprehensive Center, active since 2002, offers extensive diagnostic and treatment services to patients throughout the region.

For more information about epilepsy care at WVU visit: www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/neurology.

- WVU -

For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
ec: 02-13-08

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