Dear Martin,

Your question is who is doing ECT in kids ---

Depends on what is meant by 'kids'.
For adolescents [post-puberty] recent reports find the treatment effective and safe; the only 'special' risk is that of a low threshold so that initial dosing should be at the minimum energy and diazepam should be handy to terminate the seizure. A summary of our experience is on the Internet at under 'pediatric ECT'.

The consensus in deciding whether an adolescent should get ECT is "if the condition is such that ECT would be indicated in the adult, it is indicated in the adolescent'.

For prepubertal kids, the reports are occasional. The best known recent report is by Cizadlo and Wheaton at Iowa; they reported a 9 year old girl with catatonia. The same case was the subject of an extensive diatribe in the anti-ECT series in USA TODAY 1995.

We surely need more published experience and follow-up with kids.


(email sent by Max Fink)