The magnitude of the treatment gap (TG) for convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) in resource-poor countries is unknown. Hospital-based cohort studies from developing countries revealed that the management of CSE was usually suboptimal due to lack of advanced diagnostic and treatment facilities, significant delay in patient's presentation at hospital, and shortages of essential antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). However, there were no significant differences in the proportion of refractory status epilepticus, short-term mortalities, and morbidities of CSE between the developed and the developing countries. Therefore, the presence of significant TG for CSE in developing countries is still an assumption without evidence. We conducted an expert survey in Asia for potential sources of TG. Experts from 16 Asian countries responded to the questionnaire. An injectable form of diazepam was available in all 16 countries even at the primary care level, but intravenous lorazepam was available only in four countries. Second-line AEDs were widely available at tertiary care hospitals, but not at primary care hospitals. Lack of second-line AEDs at primary care hospitals, significant delay in patient transportation to the hospital, shortages of intensive care unit facilities, and absence of trained physicians were important contributing factors to TG in Asia.
- convulsive status epilepticus
- lower–middle-income country
- primary care hospital
- second-line antiepileptic drug
- treatment gap