Ascension Via Christi Epilepsy Center is committed to one goal: To help patients control seizures and lead active lives. Caring specialists use the latest diagnostic technologies to provide proper evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.
Epilepsy may be treated with medications, surgery, a special diet or implanted devices, depending on the type of epilepsy and seizures.
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
In the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, inpatients of all ages undergo continuous observation by trained neurodiagnostic technicians and technologists in a safe and comfortable environment.
Using electroencephalography (EEG) equipment to analyze the patient's brain activity and high-precision video cameras to document body movements during seizures, the EMU care team can classify seizures, form an accurate diagnosis and design an individualized treatment plan. Video EEG monitoring also can rule out events that are not epilepsy related.
Each of the EMU's four well-appointed private rooms has a television, DVD player and other comforts of home to help patients pass the time.
What to expect in the EMU
Average length of stay for continuous inpatient monitoring is three to five days. This provides ample time to study the patient's seizures and gather information. During a stay in the EMU, a team of trained individuals oversees patient monitoring and care.
Epilepsy care team
Specially trained caregivers work together to provide the most appropriate diagnosis and treatment for epilepsy patients.
- Epileptologist - Board-certified neurologist with advanced formal fellowship training in epilepsy.
- Pediatric neurologist - Board-certified physician with residency training in pediatrics and special qualifications in child neurology.
- Neurologists - Board-certified physicians with residency training in neurology, including epilepsy.
- Nurse practitioner – Advanced practicing registered nurse specializing in epilepsy and pediatric neurology.
- Registered nurses - Nurses have primary responsibility for the daily care of patients and can answer questions and address concerns.
- EEG techs – Technicians and registered technologists obtain the data collection and videos and can answer technical questions.
- Neuropsychologists - Psychologists specializing in neurocognitive development in children and adults.
- Epilepsy neurosurgeons - Board-certified neurosurgeons with advanced credentials and experience in epilepsy surgery.
- Neuroradiologists - Board-certified radiologists with special training to perform and interpret imaging studies, such as MRI or PET scans, specific to epilepsy and seizure disorders.
- Clinical research coordinator - Researchers help patients obtain investigational medications and devices through voluntary participation in national research studies.
- VNS coordinator - Nurse practitioner provides management of implanted vagus nerve stimulation devices.
- Psychiatrists – Specialists in psychiatric evaluation of children and adults.
- Dietitian – Registered dietitian helps manage special ketogenic diet treatment for pediatric patients.
Via Christi epilepsy research
Ascension Via Christi Epilepsy Center in brings the benefits of current clinical trials and investigational studies to patients in Kansas and northern Oklahoma. Via Christi Research is involved in multi-center national and global studies to research and test new and investigational drugs and devices.
Via Christi Research provides epilepsy patients with:
- Early access to investigational medications and devices
- Access to the highest levels of care, diagnostic services, equipment and support
- Medical oversight by staff specializing in epilepsy
- Pediatric and adult clinical trials
- Outpatient clinical trials 12-bed inpatient unit dedicated to clinical research
- Opportunities to contribute to future improvements in epilepsy care
All research conducted at Via Christi is approved by its institutional review board, an independent committee of varied medical and nonmedical backgrounds. In the face of increasing regulations around human subject research, Via Christi is committed to maintaining the highest standards to protect research participants.
To learn about current epilepsy clinical research opportunities, speak to your primary care physician or neurologist about first being evaluated at Ascension Via Christi Epilepsy Center.