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Local neurology patients set to benefit from Video Telemetry service

Neurology patients from University Hospital of North Midlands are set to benefit from Video Telemetry.  Previously the service had to be halted during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Trust is delighted that it is being reinstated.

Video Telemetry is when the electrical activity of a patient’s brain is measured using an Electroencephalogram (EEG) whilst being filmed. Unlike routine outpatient EEG investigations, Video Telemetry is a specialist investigation that allows the neurology team to reduce or withdraw a patient’s medication, and possibly sleep deprive a patient, in order to trigger a patient’s seizures in a safe and controlled environment.

Patients are observed 24/7 from a monitor outside of the Video Telemetry Suite by a dedicated nurse or healthcare assistant.  Neurophysiology Scientists analyse up to 100 hours of EEG data to establish seizure activity and to determine where in the brain the abnormal seizure activity originates from.

The service allows patients to have their treatment altered specifically to treat the specific type of seizures they are experiencing. Once a treatment plan is in place the patient’s benefit from an improvement in their quality of life and a reduction in the risk of injury or Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).

Dr Martina Mockova, Consultant Neurologist said: “The video telemetry service was very successful before it had to stop and patients have been eagerly awaiting its re-introduction.

“It is the gold standard investigation for patients where there is an uncertainty about the diagnosis of epilepsy and who might have non-epileptic attack disorder. Obtaining the correct diagnosis allows patients to access the treatment they need. It is perhaps even more important for patients with a clear diagnosis of epilepsy which is poorly controlled and where epilepsy surgery if being considered. Video telemetry is the first necessary step on the epilepsy surgery pathway.”

Becky Law, UHNM Neurophysiology service manager, said: “The Video Telemetry service relies on the collaboration of the Neurology ward and the Neurophysiology department working together to achieve a worthwhile outcome for the patient. It is a difficult investigation for our patient’s to undergo but with the teams involved, we work tirelessly to ensure our patients feel safe and supported. The patient feedback we receive demonstrates how beneficial this investigation has been for each patient.”

The service has now reopened on Neurology ward 126 at Royal Stoke University Hospital. Patients are admitted to the ward for a week and undergo an individually tailored VT investigation, to provide a diagnosis, optimise their treatment or be referred for epilepsy surgery. Reports are then generated within two weeks by the Neurophysiology team and a patient will receive their results back in clinic.