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Saskatchewan Opens New Dedicated Seizure and Epilepsy Unit

Released on September 14, 2023

Saskatchewan patients living with seizure disorders or epilepsy now have a dedicated Seizure Investigation Unit (SIU) to access enhanced monitoring and diagnostic services, located at Saskatoon's Royal University Hospital (RUH).

The SIU is a highly-specialized and controlled environment that allows neurologists and other physicians to monitor brain activity in patients for a certain period. This typically includes performing surgical interventions to gather important information, such as the nature and origin of seizures. 

A total of $2.2 million was spent to renovate and furnish the SIU. The Royal University Hospital Foundation (RUHF) contributed $1.2 million in funding to cover capital and equipment costs for the SIU, with the Government of Saskatchewan providing the remaining $1 million. The government will be investing $1.35 million in annual operational funding in the SIU.

"Having a modernized, comfortable and fully equipped unit to safely assess serious neurological disorders is vital for determining the best treatment options for each patient," Prince Albert Northcote MLA Alana Ross said on behalf of Health Minister Everett Hindley. "Saskatchewan patients will be able to access the care they need sooner and we are really pleased RUHF was able to provide significant support for this project." 

"The care provided in the Seizure Investigation Unit will make a marked difference in the lives of many people in need of the service in this province," Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Andrew Will said. "This space is an amazing example of working to support and implement innovations to improve patient care and outcomes."

The SIU was designed with input from patients and family members to create a nurturing, home-like atmosphere to support the unique requirements for people with difficult-to-diagnose or difficult-to-treat seizures or epilepsy. Many patients living with seizure disorders or epilepsy can control seizures with medication. However, in some cases seizures are resistant to medication and surgery can be an option, which is determined through in-depth monitoring and diagnostic treatments.

"Previously, people undergoing seizure monitoring at RUH found themselves in a shared space alongside critically ill patients, which heightened their stress and presented obstacles for our medical team to capture crucial patient information," Saskatchewan Epilepsy Program with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the University of Saskatchewan Medical Director Dr. Alexandra Carter said. "Our new Seizure Investigation Unit creates an environment where comfort and cutting-edge care converge, allowing us to provide advanced medical care tailored to our patients' needs and help fulfill our mission to the people of Saskatchewan living with seizures and epilepsy."

The new four-bed unit doubles the number of inpatient beds previously available to help reduce the current wait times for patients 17 years of age and older. 

"Royal University Hospital Foundation is extremely grateful for the generosity of our donors and the dedication of all those involved in making the Seizure Investigation Unit a reality here at RUH," RUH Foundation CEO Jennifer Molloy said. "Working together, we are enhancing the care available and the quality of life for those living with seizure disorders and epilepsy in Saskatchewan."

Approximately 10,500 people in Saskatchewan are living with epilepsy.


For more information, contact:

Media Relations
Phone: 306-787-4083

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