Elaine Wirrell, MD: Adjusting Epilepsy Care For Telemedicine

May 7, 2020

The director of pediatric epilepsy and professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic details the rampant acceleration of telemedicine and how her practice is adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been very challenging to get patients into the clinic. It has almost put a stop to patients who are being looked at for epilepsy surgery. They are still at risk for sudden unexpected death.”

The need for and use of telemedicine has skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic across all spectrums of care. Although some remain skeptical of the limited capabilities it may have, others are encouraged to see the accelerated process play an important role in treating patients at this time.

Elaine Wirrell, MD, director of pediatric epilepsy and professor of neurology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, is adjusting her clinical practice by incorporating telemedicine into the treatment of her patient population. She tells NeurologyLive that although there are benefits to telemedicine, there are still a number of patients that are delaying their epilepsy surgery, ultimately putting themselves at risk.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Wirrell details the pros and cons of this adjustment to epilepsy care through telemedicine, as well as provides an overview on the limitations it presents compared to standard care.