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Only a few provide the extensive range of care for pediatric and adult epilepsy that Duke Medicine does.
Duke Medicine has been at the forefront in the development and application of both medical and surgical treatments for epilepsy for over 30 years. The Epilepsy Unit is part of Neuroscience Services at Duke University Hospital, which is dedicated to the care of patients with neurologic diseases, research and treatment of neurologic diseases and teaching. Particular areas of clinical and research emphasis include epilepsy, stroke, neuromuscular disease, dementia, pain and movement disorders.
Within the Epilepsy Unit is a team comprised of adult and pediatric Neurologists and Neurosurgeons, Neuroradiologists, nurses and technologists all pooling their expertise in the evaluation and treatment of epilepsy. Duke is privileged to have several leaders in national and international epilepsy groups on staff.
Deborah LaBelle-Scarfo, RN, BSN, has been with Duke Neuroscience Services for six years, and has spent the last 2 1/2 years as a Nurse Clinician for the Neurodiagnostic Department. She confidently states that ‘the epilepsy team at Duke is phenomenal. The level and years of experience, the education and teamwork all blend for successful treatment options.’
As one of the most comprehensive epilepsy programs, Duke University Hospital is known for their evaluation and medical and surgical treatment of epilepsy in children and adults. Expert monitoring is performed in dedicated units to pinpoint the focus of seizures. “More than 280 patients are seen each year, with 40% of those being non-epileptic adults”, says Ms LaBelle- Scarfo.
Through the use of state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and approaches, including hard-wired rooms for continuous EEG and EKG results, the staff continually monitors to offer epilepsy treatment options.
There are several aspects to being part of such an extraordinary team that appeal to Ms. LaBelle-Scarfo. One of the areas she finds so rewarding is educating and teaching. “Through the Women’s Registry, I educate child bearing aged women with epilepsy. I also enjoy working with patients and their families to answer their questions, I’m always ready to give of my time and knowledge to ensure their understanding of treatments.”
Duke’s surgical approach to epilepsy has alleviated seizures for many patients. Ms LaBelle-Scarfo says that “In 2006, 10 patients received surgery at Duke University Hospital and that number is expected to double in 2007, with 10 successful surgeries to date.” Surgical procedures include Intracranial monitoring, anterior temporal lobectomies, cortical resections, Hemisperectomies, VNS placement.
Duke Medicine was the first medical center in the Southeast to utilize intracerebral electrode implantation to determine the location of seizure onset.
Duke’s epilepsy program has earned the National Association of Epilepsy Centers’ highest level of accreditation.
Duke Medicine is conducting a "Living with Epilepsy" Symposium on Sat., 10/27/07. A day long, free educational symposium for patients, families and caregivers where experts will lecture and lead group discussions on a variety of issues concerning those that live with epilepsy.
Because Duke's goal is to continue to provide the very best in epilepsy care, they are active in both basic and clinical research, and participate in a variety of ongoing clinical drug trials.
Duke is also one of only a few facilities in the region to administer the intracarotid amytal test (WADA), which is used as a presurgical evaluation for speech and memory preservation.
Opportunities for a lifetime.
Whether you prefer the excitement of helping implement cutting-edge treatment technology or the close relationships that evolve through contact with patients and their families, talent can find a special place here.
If you would like to experience Duke Medicine’s environment, visit www.dukenursing.org for career opportunities.
Duke University Hospital is proud to have received the Magnet Award.
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