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Published on July 11, 2017

First Seizure Clinic helping young patients, families

A child's first seizure can be a terrifying experience for families. Parents and caretakers often wonder why the seizure occurred and whether it is a sign of more serious problems.

John-Peter Temple, MD, Gundersen Pediatric Neurology

John-Peter Temple, MD, Gundersen Pediatric Neurology

The First Seizure Clinic at Gundersen Health System helps ease this fear and uncertainty for your patients and their families by providing them with answers as quickly as possible.

"These are urgent visits, both from the child's health perspective and the parents' sense of well-being," says Gundersen pediatric neurologist John-Peter Temple, MD. "We try to take the emotional burden away from the family, and we want to start the child on the path to health as quickly as possible."

Your young patients may be candidates for the Clinic if they are at least 1 year old and have recently suffered their first unprovoked seizure. If your patient meets the criteria, the child's family can expect an appointment with the First Seizure Clinic within three working days of being referred.
Patients younger than 1 year should not be referred to the Clinic. While a seizure in a child of any age may be a symptom of a serious medical condition, newborns and infants require special consideration and often inpatient observation and evaluation. If you have questions about how best to serve these patients, contact Gundersen Neurology via MedLink at (800) 336-5465 (in La Crosse 775-5465).

The First Seizure Clinic uses a team approach to provide comprehensive care for your patients and their families. With this support network by their side, children who qualify for the Clinic will:

  • Undergo a sleep-deprived electroencephalogram (EEG).
  • Consult with a pediatric nurse practitioner, who will perform a physical exam.
  • Meet with a pediatric neurologist, who will discuss the results of the EEG and your patient's exam and form a treatment plan. The plan may include additional scans of the brain and/or medication to prevent future seizures.
  • Talk with a pediatric neurology nurse about basic seizure first aid, lifestyle issues and how to contact Pediatric Neurology staff with questions or follow-up care. If your patient is school-aged, this education may be extended to his or her school.

Many times these steps can be accomplished in a single coordinated visit. However, it is possible that your referral may need one or more follow-up visits for an MRI or to check and adjust medications.

"The First Seizure Clinic has been a great success," Dr. Temple says. "We see patients every week who qualify and come through the system."

For more information about the Clinic or to make a referral, contact Gundersen Neurology via MedLink at (800) 336-5465 (in La Crosse 775-5465).

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