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Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) as a Level 3 Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU), Holy Cross Neuroscience Institute's EMU offers state-of-the-art 24/7 evaluations and monitoring in addition to chronic epilepsy management. Level 3 epilepsy centers have the expertise and facilities to offer the highest level medical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy. Located on the 5th floor of Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we offer ambulatory and in-patient unit monitoring to assess refractory epilepsy cases and surgical candidates.

We accept any seizing patient, modify his or her medicines and vitals, record them with audio and video, and then come back with a comprehensive diagnosis and collaborate with neuro-imaging, including EMGs, to assist in the diagnosis.

Our EMU houses state-of-the-art digital equipment to monitor and assist with the diagnosis of complicated seizure cases.

Holy Cross Hospital and South Florida epilepsy expert Eduardo Locatelli, MD, MPH, opened a four-bed epilepsy monitoring unit in January 2008, which houses the region´s most sophisticated diagnostic technology for epilepsy. Here, our board certified neurologists and expert staff monitor and assist with the diagnosis of complicated seizure cases, while patients stay in comfortable private rooms in a medically supervised environment.

Diagnostic Services

Epilepsy, the most common chronic neurological disorder that can be cured for some people, is a condition that causes the brain to produce sudden bursts of electrical energy that disrupt other brain functions. These bursts may affect a person´s consciousness, bodily movements or sensations for one to three minutes and are referred to as seizures or episodes.

In the epilepsy monitoring unit, a patient is connected to an electroencephalograph (EEG) machine via dozens of tiny wires that are taped to the head. Here, our neurologists record continuous brain wave activity with simultaneous video recording. Brain waves during or between seizures may show special patterns, which help the doctor decide whether or not someone has epilepsy. Sometimes, a seizure can be induced if it is known what type of stimulus causes it, for example, music or loud noises.

Treatments Available

Upon completion of the diagnostic process in the epilepsy monitoring unit, our neurologists can ascertain the presence of epilepsy 95 percent of the time. Once the correct diagnosis is made, the physician will determine the appropriate intervention, including medication management and surgery options. About 25 percent of those evaluated in the unit are potential candidates for surgery, which can be successful 65 to 90 percent of the time.

Our Team

Eduardo Locatelli, MD, MPH, Neurology, serves as the Medical Director of our Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Along with Neurologists Jennifer Carrasquillo, MD, and Carolina Valdes, MD, our team of technicians and office staff are specifically trained to work with patients who suffer from epilepsy and disorders that cause seizures. The combination of our leading-edge technology, clinical experts, 24/7 access to services, our team´s passion for science and compassion for the patient´s well-being makes the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Holy Cross Hospital the epilepsy center of choice in Broward County.

FAQs

How common is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States.

If I have a seizure do I have epilepsy?
Between 100,000 and 120,000 South Floridians, or 1.8 percent of the population, experience seizures annually. This is double the national average. Forty to sixty percent of people with persistent seizures or spells do not have epilepsy.

What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a condition that causes the brain to produce sudden bursts of electrical energy that disrupt other brain functions. These bursts may affect a person´s consciousness, bodily movements, or sensations for one to three minutes.

What are symptoms of an epileptic seizure?
There may be more than 200 mild to severe symptoms that indicate an epileptic seizure, including brief panic attacks, a temporary lapse of memory or numbness, or language disturbance.

How do I determine if I have epilepsy?
The first step is to call us for a consultation.

To schedule a consultation or refer a patient:

P: 954-414-9750
Holy Cross Neuroscience Institute
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, 5th Floor
4725 North Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308

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