Febrile Seizure Treatment
A febrile seizure is condition that affects infants and children characterized with convulsions and high fever. They are the most frequent neurological manifestations in early childhood with the incidence of 2%-3%. The main trigger of these convulsions is high fever and they have nothing to do with other conditions such as spinal cord infection or some neurologic disorder.
Febrile seizure treatment usually focuses on fever cause. Most of the seizures occur in the first day of an illness and they are usually the first sign of fever. Usually they present as typical or simple febrile seizure characterized by short-term, generalized fits in a psychologically and physically healthy child. Far more seldom are the atypical or complex febrile seizures characterized by a long—lasting, one-sided convulsion with possible transitory or permanent neurological damage. Fever that causes febrile convulsion is often aftereffect of diseases like ear infection, roseola or meningitis.
Common symptoms of the febrile seizures are muscle contractions which can be severe and painful. The contractions of the face, trunk and limbs may last for ten seconds. During that time a child may pass urine, vomit or bite the tongue. Worst case scenario is respiratory failure and child turning blue. The febrile seizures are prone to recidivism, which could occur in 20%-50% of cases. The risk of later afebrile seizures is 3%-20%.
Febrile seizure treatment is focusing on bringing the fever down by applying cool compress to the forehead or neck of the affected child. Rest of the body should be treated with lukewarm water. After the seizure it is crucial to find out the cause of the fever. In order to bring down the fever child may be given ibuprofen or acetaminophen. In severe cases of febrile seizures, affected children are usually treated with antiepileptic medications such as phenobarbital or diazepam. These drugs have been successful in treating and preventing recurrent febrile contractions. However, for prolonged seizure or sign of infection child may be hospitalized for treatment and observation. A long febrile seizure can also be treated by inserting drug diazepam into the rectum of a child.
The most important inherited epileptic syndrome linked to febrile seizures the GEFC+ (generalized epilepsy with febrile convulsion plus). Long-term anticonvulsive prophylaxis aiming at avoiding febrile recidives is not recommended since febrile seizures are normally benign changes of early childhood seizures. However, without proper febrile seizure treatment there is a high risk that child may become epileptic in the future.