Saskatchewan residents living with epilepsy can look forward to greater access to monitoring and diagnostic services with a highly specialized telemetry unit at Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital (RUH). The provincial government has committed to $1.35 million operational funding each year starting in 2020-21 to establish a four-bed Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. The Royal University Hospital Foundation (RUHF) will begin efforts to fundraise $1.2 million for the cost of capital and equipment.
Many people with epilepsy are able to control seizures with medication. However, telemetry is an important tool to determine if patients living with epilepsy will benefit from surgery to alleviate seizures and greatly improve their lives.
The telemetry unit will monitor the electrical activity in a patient’s brain over an extended time to determine if surgery would benefit the patient. The telemetry unit will include dedicated epilepsy monitoring equipment and cameras, allowing physicians to conduct readings and assessments at the patient’s bedside. Epilepsy monitoring is currently provided at RUH, but the dedicated unit will greatly improve access to services.
Two beds equipped for pediatric epilepsy telemetry services will also become available in fall 2019 with the opening of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital. These beds will be available for children to receive telemetry services as required. Approximately 10,500 people in Saskatchewan are living with epilepsy, 700 of whom are children. To donate to the telemetry unit, visit the RUHF web site.