Track: 13. Health Services (Delivery of Care, Access to Care, Health Care Models)
Nitin K. Sethi
Associate Professor of Neurology
New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center
New York, New York
Conclusions: During the “active” phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant decline in call volume to the epileptologist occurred. Even patients who suffered break-through seizures and seizure clustering did not call the epileptologist. Patients who needed in-person evaluation and management for seizure clustering, multiple break-through seizures, suspected seizures declined to come to see the epileptologist at his in-hospital faculty practice office. The likely cause for decrease in call volume and change in call characteristics was fear of contracting COVID-19 infection in the hospital setting. It is hypothesized that epilepsy patients were likely more compliant with anti-seizure medications during the pandemic. Leading up to the pandemic the epileptologist prescribed oral lorazepam or intranasal midazolam to be used as seizure rescue medication to patients with poorly controlled epilepsy. This might be the cause of the low volume of urgent calls. Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic should guide future care of epilepsy patients including the use of seizure rescue medications and providing a safe office and hospital environment to maintain their continuity of care.
Funding: Please list any funding that was received in support of this abstract.: None