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Creating a Clinical "Home" for Families Facing Complex Epilepsy

Archana	Pasupuleti

Archana Pasupuleti first joined Children’s National Hospital in 2007 as a medical student doing rotations in pediatrics and neurology. She returned a decade later as an attending epileptologist, a specialist in epileptic seizures and seizure disorders. Her motivation was “largely because of the incredible staff and faculty that provide excellent care to medically complex children at Children’s National,” she says.

 

Dr. Pasupuleti created a clinical “home” for families of children with complex, drug-resistant epilepsy. Our Epileptic Encephalopathy Clinic provides families with multi-disciplinary, coordinated care that minimizes the difficulties of getting to and from medical appointments as well as missed school and work. A patient visit to the busy clinic might include an electroencephalography (EEG) test to track and record brain wave patterns and visits with specialists, a family therapist and a speech therapist.


“These families face very time-intensive care,” Dr. Pasupuleti says. “We wanted to create a place where we can help them understand their children’s diagnoses then coordinate care and monitor development. It also gives families someone that they know they can call when problems come up.”

 

Recently, Dr. Pasupuleti began treating a 2-year-old with complex epilepsy whose mother had been navigating care on her own. “Once she started coming to the clinic, we could control her seizures and track her developmental milestones,” Dr. Pasupuleti says. “After two months she’s gained more skills than she did in the prior 18 months. To see the child alert and the mother smiling reminds me why I became a pediatrician.”

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