Seizures in the ICU – Part 6
Status epilepticus causes serious damage to tissues outside of the central nervous system. Both systemic and pulmonary artery pressures rise acutely at the onset of seizures. There is a surge in cortisol and epinephrine release that further elevates
systemic blood pressure and also causes a dramatic hyperglycemia (increased blood glucose level).
Muscular contractions cause a rise in lactic acid with a concomitant decrease in body pH. In addition, the increased muscular work accelerates heat production. With decreased blood flow to the skin, this results in a dangerously high core body temperature. Respirations are affected by abnormal diaphraghm contractions. Patients develop hypercarbia (increased carbon dioxide in the blood) due to increased production and decreased excretion through the lungs.
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