What is a febrile seizure?
A febrile seizure is a type of seizure, which occurs during a febrile illness. This is independent from the cause of the fever. The seizure occurs mostly with body temperatures greater than 39 degree Celsius.
What are the symptoms?
The child presents with a generalized convulsion/jerks, (tonic-clonic) of the extremities. In addition to that the children are either starring into the space or the eyes are turned upwards. The seizure can last for a few seconds to a few minutes. Complicated febrile seizures last longer than 15 minutes. The Peak incidence is between 14 and 18 months of age. Rarely does it occur before the nine months of age or after the fifth year of life.
What are the complications?
No particular compilations are known after a brief episode. However, if the episode is lasting too long cardiopulmonary disturbances can occur. If a febrile seizure is lasting longer than 15 minutes than the occurrence rate for a second febrile seizure is higher and the risk for developing lasting seizures is greater.
What is the therapy?
If the parents are concerned that the child may have a febrile seizure the ambulance needs to be called and the child needs to be admitted to the hospital. Other causes of the seizure need to be ruled out as well. The immediate therapy is the treatment with 5 mg or 10 mg Diazepam rectal. Further therapies are depending on the length of the seizure.