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Pullman Regional Hospital Implements New Technology to Help Detect “Silent” Seizures

PULLMAN, WA—In May, Pullman Regional Hospital introduced Ceribell, portable, wearable EEG technology to help detect silent seizures in critically ill patients. “Ceribell looks like a headband; it’s easy to use, and in 5 minutes or less, we are alerted if a patient is experiencing seizure-like activity,” said Stephanie Knewbow, registered nurse and Director of Pullman Regional Hospital’s Emergency Department.

“In less than 10 minutes, we can connect with a neurologist, specializing in seizure. A timely seizure diagnosis is crucial; the longer a seizure remains untreated, the more brain damage can occur,” said Dr. Pete Mikkelsen, Medical Director of Emergency Services and Chief Medical Officer for Pullman Regional Hospital. This tool helps us better detect the silent brain killer. As EEG becomes the “standard of care” for critically ill patients and cardiac patients, timely testing is important.”

An Electroencephalogram (EEG) detects electrical activity abnormalities in the brain. It is a common test used to diagnose brain disorders like epilepsy, brain damage from trauma, and stroke. Traditional EEG tests are time-intensive and can take several hours to set up. At Pullman Regional Hospital, physicians and nurses have access to Ceribell and can perform the test in the patient’s room.

Pullman Regional Hospital is the first critical access hospital in Washington state and the region to use Ceribell.

“We’ve had this technology for about a month, and we’re using it weekly to rule out or rule in seizure activity,” said Knewbow. “We are finding seizures in patients who present with an altered mental state as one of the only symptoms. When a patient is on a ventilator and sedated or arrives with head trauma, we have no way of confirming if the patient is seizing without EEG and that’s why Ceribell is a crucial screening tool.”

According to Ceribell’s cited research, 25% of critically ill patients seize with 90% of those being non-convulsive or “silent.”

“This technology is meeting an unmet need, and we’re proud to elevate the standard of care for our patients, said Dr. Mikkelsen. “Care at a small hospital should never mean inferior care.”