Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – Coming Soon!

 Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a safe and effective treatment for those who suffer from severe depression or other mental health conditions. ECT brings about fast relief from many symptoms of mental-health illnesses, often resulting in significant improvement after just a few sessions, whereas some medications may take weeks to make a difference. It is a voluntary behavioral-health treatment performed under general anesthesia, ECT employs brief electrical pulses to trigger a controlled generalized seizure, changing the patient’s brain chemistry and alleviating the symptoms of certain mental illnesses. Where other treatments have been unsuccessful, these carefully monitored and controlled, ECT-induced seizures often result in rapid and marked improvements in the patient’s symptoms and reduce or supplant the need for medications. 

Dr Winderbaum Fernandez started performing ECT in 2008 during her residency training at Stanford. She started the University of South Florida ECT program at Tampa General Hospital in 2010 and later moved the program to Memorial Hospital of Tampa in 2015. She has performed an average of 1600 procedures/year over the past 10 years and employs state-of-the-art techniques including right unilateral electrode placement and ultrabrief pulse width parameters. 

ECT offers a safe alternative for those who have not had success with other treatments for severe depression or other mental illnesses, as well as those who cannot tolerate medications. Patients who can benefit from ECT therapy and should consider requesting an evaluation. This includes those who suffer from: 

Severe depression  
Treatment-resistant depression  
Secondary depression for schizophrenic and Bipolar Disorder
Severe mania  
Agitation or aggression in people with dementia  
Postpartum Depression
Depression and Bipolar Disorder during pregnancy

Fernandez, J.W., Philpot, R.M., Marsh, P.J., Hartney, K.E., and Kozel, F.A. (2014) The Need to Expand Access to Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Retrospective Analysis of a New Academic Service. J Psychiatr Practice. 20(4):308-315. PMID: 25036588

Upshaw, W.N., Hubbard, J.D., Ali, S., and Fernandez, J.W. (2013) Transient Anosmia During Acute-Series Electroconvulsive Therapy. J. ECT. 29(4): e55-6. PMID: 24263277