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Electroconvulsive Therapay-ECT

Electroconvulsive Therapay-ECT

ElectroconvulsiveTherapay (ECT) is a procedure in which electric currents are passed through the brain, deliberately triggering a brief seizure. Electroconvulsive therapy seems to cause in brain chemistry that can immediately reverse symptoms of certain mental illnesses. It often works when other treatments are unsucessful.

          Nurses have an important role to deliver when a client is to undergo Electroconvulsive Therapy. Find out what are the responsibilities and activities of the nurse during electroconvulsive therapy.

Emotional and Educational support to the Client & Family

  • Encourage the client to discuss feelings, including myths regarding ECT.
  • Teach the client and the family what to expect with ECT.

Pre treatment Protocol for ECT :

  • Ascertain if the client and the family have received a full explanation, including the option to withdraw the consent at any time.
  • Withhold food and fluids for 6 to 8 hours before treatment.
  • Remove dentures, glassess, contact lenses,  hearing aids, hair pins and etc.
  • Have client void before the treatment.
  • Give preoperative medications as ordered.
    - Atropin : To prevent potential for aspiration and to help minimize brady arrhythmias in response to electrical stimulants. Instead of Atropin Glycopyrrrolate ( Robinul ) can be used.

Nursing Care During Procedure :

  • Place a blood pressure cuff on one of the clients arms.
  • As the intravenous line is inserted and EEC and EEG electrodes are attached, give a brief explanation to the client.
  • Put on the pulse oxymeter to the client's finger.
  • Monitor blood pressure throughout the treatment
  • Medication to be given
    - Short Acting Anesthetic ( Brevital )
    - Muscle relaxant ( Succinylcholine )
    - 100% oxygen by mask via positive pressure.
  • Check if the bite block is placed in prevent biting of the tongue.
  • Electrical stimulus given ( Sezure should last 30-60 sec ).

Post treatment Nursing Care :

  • Have the client go to a properly staffed recovery room
  • Once the client is awake, talk to the client and check the vital signs.
  • Give frequent orientation and reassurance to allay confusion.
  • Check the gag reflex before giving client fluids, medications or breakfast.

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