Treating febrile convulsions in children

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The most recent figures on how ambulance services used the correct care bundle for treating febrile convulsions in March has been published by the National Ambulance Service Clinical Quality Group and EEAST’s figures have unfortunately fallen.

The Trust supplied 171 patient care records and the percentage of those that recorded the correct care bundle assessments are:

  • Blood glucose recorded – 81.3%
  • SpO2 recorded before oxygen administration – 87.1%
  • Temperature management recorded – 64.9%

These results are gathered regularly and EEAST’s figures have decreased from the previous report (September 2013). We know that clinicians give the very best care to our patients, but please remember to record all of the treatment you give and any exceptions to treatment, paying special attention to the following:

The cause of febrile convulsions is unknown, although it is linked to the start of a fever – a high temperature of 38ºC or above, which can indicate an underlying infection. Feverish illness is the second most common reason for a child being admitted to hospital and despite medical advances, infections remain the leading cause of death in children under the age of five years.

Antipyretic interventions

Antipyretic agents (drugs to reduce fever) do not prevent
febrile convulsions and should not be used specifically for this purpose, or for the sole aim of reducing body temperature in children with fever. You can choose to give paracetamol (or ibuprofen if you are a specialist paramedic) and continue only as long as the child appears distressed.

Using a tepid sponge to relieve fever is not recommended and the child should not be underdressed or over-wrapped.

Fever in young children can be a diagnostic challenge because it is often difficult to identify the cause and there is a need to improve the recognition, assessment and immediate treatment. To read the full National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines on this subject, please visit their website.

Published 2nd August 2014 

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