Pre-Hospital Management of Febrile Seizures in Children Seen at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Background: Febrile seizures are commonly encountered in emergency paediatric practice. Initial pre-hospital intervention given by caregivers has been shown to impact outcome.
Objectives: To describe the spectrum of pre-hospital interventions given for the treatment of childhood febrile seizures in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Methods: All consecutive cases of febrile seizures seen at the emergency room of University College Hospital, Ibadan over a period of 13 months were the subjects of the study. Details of history of illness including the interventions given before presentation were recorded. All the children had lumbar puncture and examination of their cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). All were followed up till discharge and the outcome was recorded.
Results: A total of 147 children, 83 males and 64 females with febrile seizures were studied. Harmful traditional practices were found to be common in the cohort studied. Fifty-nine (40.1%) of the children received at least one form of intervention believed to be capable of aborting the seizure during the attack at home. Herbal preparation was the most common form of pre-hospital treatment, given in 15 (10.2%) of the cases. Other forms of pre-hospital interventions given were application of substances to the eyes (6.1%), incisions on the body (2%) and burns inflicted on the feet and buttocks (1.4%). None of the children received rectal diazepam or buccal midazolam as home remedy for seizures. There was a statistically significant relationship between harmful cultural practices and the socioeconomic class of the caregivers (P=0.008).
Conclusions: Pre-hospital treatment of childhood seizures in Ibadan comprises mainly harmful traditional practices. There is a need for appropriate health education to reduce the morbidity and mortality
associated with febrile seizures in the locality.
Keywords: seizures, febrile, cow’s urine, socio-economic status
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