Status epilepticus admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic in Salzburg—A population-based study

Markus Leitinger, Kai Nicolas Poppert, Matthias Mauritz, Fabio Rossini, Georg Zimmermann, Alexandra Rohracher, Gudrun Kalss, Giorgi Kuchukhidze, Julia Höfler, Pilar Bosque Varela, Rudolf Kreidenhuber, Kamila Volna, Caroline Neuray, Teia Kobulashvili, Claudia A. Granbichler, Uwe Siebert, Eugen Trinka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several emergencies were admitted less frequently to the hospital during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. To investigate whether this also occurred with status epilepticus (SE) we compared admissions due to first SE from March to April 2020 (“Time of COVID,” TOC) with January to February 2020 (“pre-COVID,” preCOV). We also compared admission numbers in TOC and preCOV with the respective 2-month periods in 2018 and 2019 in a retrospective cohort analysis. Two investigators independently searched the hospital patient database for various forms of SE. There was no significant change in the 2-month incidences of first SE in the city of Salzburg from preCOV of 6.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.9-12.3) to TOC of 6.9/100 000 adults (95% CI 3.4-13.3). Admission numbers did not differ significantly from previous years. Estimated adjusted incidence was in line with a recent 5-year epidemiological study in Salzburg. However, a trend toward less-frequent nonconvulsive SE (NCSE) and loss of female predominance were indirect hints of underdiagnosing SE. In contrast to other medical conditions, SE most often presents clinically with impaired consciousness, which may promote admission to emergency departments even in times of lock-down. Further research of medical support of women and patients with NCSE during pandemic-related restrictions is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e198-e203
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • epidemiology
  • incidence
  • protection
  • risk
  • wristband


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