Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Treatment – Is ECT An Option?
Is ECT An Option?
The patient and physician should discuss all options available before deciding on any treatment. If ECT is recommended, the patient should be given a complete medical examination including a history, physical, neurological examination, EKG and laboratory test. Medications need to be noted and monitored closely, as should cardiac conditions and hypertension. The patient and family should be educated and informed about the procedure via videos, written material, discussion, and any other means available before a written consent is signed.
The procedure should be administered by trained health professionals with experience in ECT administration as well as a specifically trained and certified anesthesiologist to administer the anesthesia. The seizure initiated by the electrical stimulus varies from person to person and should be monitored carefully by the administration team. Monitoring should be done by an EEG or “cuff” technique.
The nature of ECT, its history of abuse, unfavorable medical and media reports, and testimony from former patients all contribute to the debate surrounding its use. Research should continue, and techniques should be refined to maximize the efficacy and minimize the risks and side effects resulting from ECT.
To be continued
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