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 Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)- is an accepted form of treatment for certain types of psychiatric disorders. It has been used successfully in thoughts of cases in this country and abroad since its introduction in 1938. It is one of the most effective ways of treating depression and certain other conditions in patients who might otherwise require prolonged hospitalization.

When successful, a course of ECT induces a remission in a episode of illness; it does not in itself produce a “cure” any more than does a course of antidepressant, antimanic, or antipsychotic medication that is limited to the episode of illness. Continuation/maintenance therapy is nearly always indicated.

There no standard number of ECT treatment. The patient should be treated until Full recovery or A plateau in improvement is reached, and no further gains have been seen after the last 2 treatments.

Consent for treatment should be reobtained at least every 6 months.

Routine Practice is to give ECT three times a week on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule Index course consist of approximately

8-12 treatments.

Therapy in the 6-month period following the index course. After Index course scheduling of continuation ECT involves gradually shifting from frequent (weekly) to monthly treatments over a period of 1 to 3 months, then keeping to a monthly rate.

Therapy continuing beyond 6 months after the index course once every 1-2 months depending on patient’s condition.

- Death (around 1 per 10,000 patients): cardiac arrest, prolonged apnea, status epilepticus, cerebral herniation.

- Stroke

- Bone fractures

- Broken tooth

- Memory loss (acute postictal confusional state, retrograde or anterograde amnesia)

- Muscle pain

- Delirium (postictal confusion 10 min-1 hr)

- Headache

- Nausea

If you are interested in ECT as an alternative treatment for your psychiatric condition, please contact our Center to schedule an appointment with Dr. Venera R. Miller (Board Certified and ECT-Certified Psychiatrist) to be evaluated for the appropriateness of this treatment in your case. Treatment will be administered at Sibley Memorial Hospital (Washington DC) by Dr. Miller.

Sibley Memorial Hospital

Department of Psychiatry

5255 Loughboro Road, NW

Washington DC 20016

Phone: (202) 537-4770

Fax: (202) 537-4737

Information Concerning ECT and Requirements at Sibley Memorial Hospital

  • All patients receiving ECT must not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the treatment except take your blood pressure and heart medication with a sip of water upon awakening the morning of your treatment.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, preferably short-sleeves. Wear shoes that are easy to remove. Bring a sweater if needed. Bring identification (preferably photo) and insurance card.
  • Bring a current list of all medications you take; please include dosage and frequency.
  • All patients also should arrive 1hour before scheduled ECT time. You must register in Admissions on the first floor, just inside the main entrance of the hospital (circular drive by the flag pole). After registering in admissions, take elevator to the 7th floor. 7-West is to the right as you exit the elevator. Use the phone on a wall to call to enter the unit. You will be directed to sign in and then to the outpatient area.
  • You will be at the hospital approximately 2 hours, approximately 1 hour before the ECT and about 1 hour afterwards. You must arrange for someone to drive you home. Whoever accompanies you to the hospital may remain with you until you enter the treatment room for your ECT. Then that individual will be asked to wait outside the unit. There is a waiting area on a 7th floor by the elevators. The cafeteria is located on a ground floor.
  • Any food or water consumption (including chewing gum) after midnight the night before ECT as well as being late for the treatment will be considered cancellation of the treatment and patient will be charged $150 missed appointment/cancellation fees due to the major hospital /staff resources involved.
  • There is a 24 hour notice required to cancel an Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) session. A cancellation with less than 24 hours notice or in a morning of scheduled ECT session at Sibley Memorial Hospital will be charged the late cancellation fee which is equivalent to the missed ECT session fee. The $150.00 missed/late canceled ECT session fee will be placed on your credit card account automatically.
  • For appropriate, in advance, 24 hour ECT cancellation you are required to call the Psychiatry Department at Sibley Memorial Hospital (202-537-4770) and provide you name and date of original scheduled ECT appointment. After that you are required to call Dr. Miller’s office (410-535-6520) and speak to the receptionist or leave a message on the answering machine.
  • All patients receiving ECT are aware of the rules and regulations of this treatment provided at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
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Licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.

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