SE is a medical emergency that requires urgent aggressive therapy in order to limit any long-term damage. The following principles must be recognised:

  • Early initiation of anticonvulsants is key to successful treatment
  • Outcomes worsen with increasing duration of SE
  • Loss of responsiveness to benzodiazepines will occur with time


Effective treatment can be effected in two phases:

  • Pre-hospital
  • In hospital

We will consider these in turn.