St Elizabeth’s has the expertise to support children and adults who have a device (a pulse generator) fitted under their skin to enable them to undergo Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) therapy, a form of treatment for epilepsy for people whose seizures are not controlled with medication. We host VNS clinics to enable residents to receive treatment without needing to attend hospital or external clinics, and some of the nurses in the Health Team are able to adjust treatment as required.
The VNS is a device that sends electrical impulses to the brain via the vagus nerve – its aim is to reduce numbers of and severity of seizures, and to shorten the recovery time, overall improving the quality of life for people with difficult to control epilepsy.
The Health Team regularly liaise with an individual’s neurologists to ensure maximum effect, and also make suggestions for who they think might benefit. One of our adult residents was having around 15 seizures a month – effectively one every two days. They had a VNS implanted, and staff worked together with neurologists to manage the intensity of the impulses. As a result, his seizures have now been reduced to less than five per month.