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Children with seizures presenting to accident and emergency.
  1. R A Smith,
  2. T Martland,
  3. M F Lowry
  1. Department of Child Health, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: To analyse the diagnoses made in children presenting to an accident and emergency (A&E) department with seizures. METHODS: All children who presented to a district general hospital A&E department with seizures over a 1 year period were identified. A retrospective review of A&E and hospital records was performed one year after they were first seen. The types of seizure, investigations performed, treatment given, and the range of associated diagnoses were ascertained. RESULTS: 199 children (of 21,795 attending A&E in the year) had 254 visits with seizures, which represented 1.2% of the child attendances at A&E. Self referral occurred in 87%, and 52 patients had established epilepsy. Febrile seizures were far the commonest type of first seizure (n = 75), but there were also 13 cases of symptomatic seizures resulting from various metabolic and neurological causes. CONCLUSIONS: The children studied had a very different spectrum of problems from adults. A&E staff should be aware of the range of problems in children who present with seizures. Experienced paediatric staff should be available to assist all A&E departments where children are seen.

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