Recovery of consciousness after epileptic seizures in children

Allen, J. E.; Ferrie, C. D.; Livingston, J. H.; Feltbower, R. G.
January 2007
Archives of Disease in Childhood;Jan2007, Vol. 92 Issue 1, p39
Academic Journal
Objective: To investigate the duration of postictal impairment of consciousness and the factors that affect it. Patients and methods: 90 children aged 1-16 years (37 male, 53 female, median age 6 years), attending the accident and emergency department, and inpatients of Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK, who had experienced seizures involving impairment of consciousness. Interventions-hourly modified paediatric coma scores were determined, until a coma score of 15 was obtained. Linear regression analysis was used to determine the factors influencing recovery time. Results: 49 children were excluded owing to incomplete coma scoring, lost notes and refusal of consent. Median time for full recovery of consciousness was 38 mm (0.63 h, range 0.05-17 h). Median recovery time was 1 8 mm (0.3 h, range 0.05-9 h) from febrile seizures, which was significantly shorter than for seizures of other aetiologies (p<0.05), 1.35 h (range 0.07-13.13 h) from idiopathic seizures, 1.25 h (0.07-12.1 h) from remote symptomatic seizures and 4.57 h (0.25-17 h) from acute symptomatic seizures. Median recovery time after the use of benzodiazepines was 3.46 h (range 0.08-14.25 h), and was significantly longer (p<0.05) than for seizures not treated with benzodiazepines (median 0.47 h, range 0.05-17 h). Age, sex, seizure type and duration did not significantly affect recovery time. Conclusions: Most children experiencing febrile seizures recover within 30 mm. An acute symptomatic aetiology should be considered if recovery takes >1 h.


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