critical care

Most of us are familiar with the stereotypical seizure perpetuated by Hollywood where the protagonist convulses in a dramatic, often traumatizing way. Usually while operating a vehicle or in a capacity where secondary adverse consequences from head injury, flailing or drowning from lost consciousness prevails. In the real world, epilepsy and its varying manifestations traverse a wide spectrum ranging from global to more focal features. Enter the realm of the silent seizure, often plaguing the sickest of patients in the intensive care unit setting and with the most obscure of presentations. These also produce abnormal brain rhythm disturbances, but occur without obvious physical signs and require cumbersome testing which can delay diagnosis, thereby delaying proper treatment.

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Disparities in care often are in the news. The lack of women in early cardiovascular disease research resulted in physicians failing to recognize how gender may influence the presentation of illness by a patient. Women are more likely to have completed advance directives, informing physicians of their wishes when faced with difficult health care choices, than men. And of course, there are studies showing women physicians are more likely to follow guidelines or provide better care. This last category results in much gnashing of teeth by male physicians and is often prominently displayed in the newsfeeds for the public and physicians.

A new study in the...