ECT at Sheppard Pratt
(Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy)

The Medical Department of Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital
6501 North Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21285
Phone: 410-938-3485

click here for directions

The Program

Sheppard Pratt Health System has more than 30 years of experience in the delivery of ECT services and offers this treatment in accordance with the American Psychiatric Association's standards. ECT is administered in Sheppard Pratt's ECT suite on the Towson campus by specially credentialed psychiatrists.

ECT treatments can be administered on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Patients must have written orders for ECT treatment from their psychiatrist. The Sheppard Pratt psychiatrist is available to the referrer and the patient's family to discuss any questions about ECT which may arise.

Patient Population

ECT has been proven to be safe and can be highly effective for patients suffering from mood \disorders, particularly major depression, who have not responded to medication or psychotherapy. (ECT is most commonly administered to treat major depression in patients who have not responded to medication).

The Procedure

ECT involves the administration of electrical shock to the brain of the patient to induce a seizure.

The patient is anesthetized for the procedure. A muscle relaxant is administered to assure that muscular contractions associated with the seizure are mild. Once the patient is asleep, a carefully controlled amount of electricity is passed between the two electrodes on the patient's head producing a generalized seizure in the brain which lasts for approximately 30-50 seconds. When the procedure is complete and the anesthesia wears off, the patient is transported to the recovery room for continued monitoring. The procedure and recovery take approximately 45 minutes.

The number of treatments recommended is based on the individual patient's need and response to the treatment. Many patients receive a total of six to twelve treatments per episode of care.

Common Side Effects

ECT is a safe medical procedure when administered according to sound medical practice and in adherence to appropriate preparatory guidelines. As with all forms of medical treatment, some patients may experience some side effects. These may include headache, muscle soreness, nausea, temporary irregularities in heart rate, confusion and memory problems and in rare instances, damage to fragile teeth.

Referral Process

Information for Patients and Families:

  • What You Need to Know
  • Information for Physicians:

  • Referring Psychiatrist Information
  • Outpatient ECT Referral
  • Order Outpatient Insurance Information

    Meet Our Clinicians:
    Carlos Azcarate, M.D. Dennis Kutzer, M.D.
    Jack Vaeth, M.D.

    Send me more information

    Contact the ECT Nurse Coordinator: Anita Hagin, RN

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    Click on the map for more information

    6501 N. Charles St.
    Baltimore, Maryland 21285


    Sheppard Pratt is inside the Baltimore Beltway (Interstate 695) off of Exit 25. After you are on the ramp for Exit 25, follow the signs for Charles Street (Rt 139). Proceed south on Charles Street approximately 2 & 1/2 miles. You will see a sign designating a left turn into the Sheppard Pratt campus. Proceed on Gatehouse drive passing the hospital buildings on your right, & make a right up the driveway at Sullivan Drive. Proceed to the Weinberg East parking lot on your right (adjacent to the B parking lot), & you may park in a designated ECT parking space (or other available spaces). Enter the building through the double doors & ECT suite is the first door on left.

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    © 2003 Sheppard Pratt Health System All rights reserved.
    Last modified: Friday, April 18, 2014

    Sheppard Pratt Health System
    6501 N. Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21285

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