Sheppard Pratt Health System
6501 N. Charles Street
P.O. Box 6815
Baltimore, MD 21285-6815
When you have had your medical clearance work-up for ECT and approved for treatment the following areinstructions and information you need to review prior to your first and subsequent treatments.
No smoking after midnight the night before ECT treatments.
You are to have nothing to eat / drink including chewing gum or mints from midnight the night before yourscheduled appointment. You may brush your teeth, but don't swallow any water. The exceptions to this are if youare advised to take caffeine one hour before treatment, or take a blood pressure pill or heart medication, take avery small sip of water. Inhalers for asthma, bronchitis should be taken 1 hour prior to treatment.
If you are presently taking any of the following medications please note the medication and delete or hold time:
a. Ritalin - hold a.m. dose, morning of the treatment, you may take it after treatmentb. Lithium - stop 24 hours before you start treatmentc. Klonopin or Ativan - hold a.m. dose morning of treatment, you may take it after treatment.
d. Glucophage - do not take 24 hours before each treatment, you may take it after treatment.
e. Depakote, Lamictal and Neurontin - hold the evening before treatment and the a.m. dose, and may take
f. Reserpine - you must be off this medication 3 weeks prior to starting treatment.
g. MAO inhibitors - you must be off these medications 2 weeks prior to starting treatment.
h. Coumadin - your INR (blood level) must be less than 2.4 to have ECT.
The day of your appointment you should be accompanied by a family member or friend that will bring you to theECT suite and take you home after the treatment. You may not drive a car for 24 hours after the treatment. Theactual ECT treatment is about 45 minutes to 1 hour. (This is from the time your enter the treatment room until youleave the recovery room).
If you have any recent surgery, emergency room visits or flu like symptoms please inform the nurse in the ECTarea.
Common side effects after the treatment: muscle aches, jaw pain, headache, some dizziness, confusion andoccasionally nausea. Nausea and dizziness should subside within 24 hours.
Most patients receive a series of 6 to 12 treatments. Some patients find that maintenance ECT is best for them.
You and your referring psychiatrist may discuss this option.
You will notice an increase in memory loss due to the frequency of treatments. Keep a notebook to write thingsdown if you wish. Your memory should return within 3 - 6 weeks after stopping the treatment.
Dr. Jack Vaeth or Dr. Carlos Azcarate of Sheppard Pratt Hospital, are the psychiatrists who will be performing theECT treatment.
1. You will need to sign several forms upon your arrival.
2. An ECT nurse will ask you questions and will schedule your next appointment.
3. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
4. You may be asked to remove your watch and/or jewelry.
5. Limit your use of make-up.
6. Please inform the nurse if you are wearing contact lenses.
7. You will be asked to use the bathroom immediately before the treatment.
1. A psychiatrist will briefly ask your progress and your concerns once you enter the treatment room.
2. A nurse, psychiatrist and anesthesiologist will be with you during the entire treatment.
3. You will be monitored through EKG leads, BP cuff, and oximeter. (You are asked to remove eyeglasses and
4. You will be given oxygen through a facemask.
5. The anesthesiologist will start an intravenous line that will give you fluids and the medication that will put
you to sleep during the treatment along with a muscle relaxant.
6. The psychiatrist who gives the ECT treatment will place small sticky leads on your forehead and temple(s).
7. A bite block is placed in your mouth during the treatment and then removed.
8. Once asleep you will be given the actual treatment.
1. Once the treatment is over you will be taken to the recovery room where your vital signs are monitored until
you have sufficiently recovered from the treatment.
2. Once awake you will be walked from recovery room to meet your escort at their car.
Please be sure to eat and drinkRest as neededTake Tylenol / aspirin for any side effects - headache, body ache or jaw painAlso take any a.m. medication that you hadn't taken the morning of the treatment.
If you experience nausea or vomiting after treatment please inform ECT staff prior to next treatment.
Do not drive a car; operate any machinery for 24 hours after treatment.
Do not sign any legal document / decisions due to a decrease in mental alertness after treatment.
If you need to cancel or change appointment time, please call 410-938-3485 and talk to the ECT staff.
Hours: 7:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Monday - Wednesday - Friday.
Answering machine is on Tuesday and Thursday or you may call the Medical Department Secretary at410-938-3476.
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