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Geisinger-Community Medical Center unveils new epilepsy monitoring unit

Advanced equipment helps detect seizure source, outline treatment for epilepsy

mccabe150On Wednesday, Dec. 12, Geisinger-Community Medical Center (G-CMC) will unveil its new epilepsy monitoring unit. The new service, which began treating patients in November, monitors patients over the course of several nights to better identify the source of seizures.

“Opening an epilepsy monitoring unit on the campus of G-CMC is the latest in a series of improvements our campus has seen since becoming part of the Geisinger family in January,” said Anthony Aquilina, D.O., chief medical officer, G-CMC. “This new service is evidence of Geisinger’s commitment to bring high-level, specialized health care closer to home for patients in our region.”

An epilepsy monitoring unit utilizes long-term video monitoring to track seizures over the course of a patient’s stay. On average, patients spend between four and eight days in an epilepsy monitoring unit. By collecting data from electrodes attached to a patient’s head over the course of multiple days, physicians can use the data to identify the specific area of the brain that is causing seizures and then create a more targeted treatment plan for each particular patient.

“Prior to having an epilepsy monitoring unit at G-CMC, patients were forced to travel as far a Philadelphia for proper long-term monitoring treatment,” said Paul McCabe, M.D., neurologist, G-CMC. “Epilepsy is a common disorder and there was a great need for more sophisticated epilepsy care in Scranton. With this unit we are bringing care to the patient rather than patients traveling for the appropriate care.”

The $200,000 epilepsy monitoring unit at G-CMC features two private rooms overlooking Nay Aug Park wired for remote monitoring by a team of physicians. G-CMC has also wired the dayroom adjacent to the epilepsy monitoring unit so patients are not simply confined to their hospital room while under observation.

“Advanced specialty care such as that required for complex neurological conditions requires sophisticated equipment that was not previously available at G-CMC,” Dr. Aquilina said. “Our goal is to build the Scranton Area’s most comprehensive and integrated health system so residents can remain close to home for advanced care, and we feel opening our epilepsy monitoring unit brings us one step closer to that goal.”