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Workpackage 03

Workpackage leads and partners

Academic Lead: Dr. Lena Hellström-Westas (UU)

Workpackage objections

  • To increase knowledge about current strategies for diagnosing neonatal seizures (clinical and EEG) in European neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). 
  • To increase knowledge about European neonatal seizure treatment practices by performing a survey on current strategies for antiepileptic medications and postnatal prophylactic treatment.

Workpackage description

A web-based survey will be distributed to neonatologists and paediatric neurologists throughout Europe, in order to investigate possible differences in diagnosis and treatment of neonatal seizures within the European Union and other European countries. The survey will include questions about current strategies for seizure diagnosis (including EEG and EEG-monitoring) and antiepileptic treatment of clinical seizures and subclinical seizures.


1) Protocol for survey: During the first months, a protocol will be created and contacts will be taken through Europe for distribution of the survey. The partners involved in this proposal have large formal and informal networks within neonatology and paediatric neurology, not least through organisations such as the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR) and the European Neonatal Brain Club (ENBC).

2) Survey: The survey will be sent out. Since the survey is web-based it will be possible to build in direct feed-back when a clinician has responded to the survey (e.g. how did other clinicians reply to a certain question), which is both didactic and is expected to raise the number of responders.

3) Analysis: Data collection and analysis.

4) Report: Writing of a report.

The new information from the survey on how neonatal seizures are diagnosed and treated will increase the overall awareness about the specific difficulties in diagnosing seizures in newborn infants. The results from the survey, and from new research, can form a basis for practical guidelines on how to optimise seizure detection and diagnosis in neonatal intensive care units through Europe, and on the use of EEG and continuous EEG-monitoring. Such guidelines will also make the diagnosis of neonatal seizures more precise with less administration of unnecessary antiepileptic medications.

Collaboration within the consortium

This WP is closely associated with WP 02 (Education and training) and WP 06 (EEG), because the results will have implications for the training tools that will be developed in WP03 (Objective: To develop a web based educational tool for clinicians on diagnosis and management of neonatal seizures) and in WP 06 we will further investigate how to optimise the diagnosis of seizures.
WP03 - Survey - Use of AED in neonatal seizures