, Volume 173, Issue 6, pp 773-779
Date: 03 Jan 2014

The administration of rescue medication to children with prolonged acute convulsive seizures in a non-hospital setting: an exploratory survey of healthcare professionals’ perspectives

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Abstract

Timely administration of rescue medication for prolonged convulsive seizures lasting more than 5 min is necessary to prevent progression to status epilepticus in children. The Practices in Emergency and Rescue Medication for Epilepsy Managed with Community Administered Therapy (PERFECT™) initiative was set up to gain a better understanding of how prolonged convulsive seizures in children are managed when they occur outside of the hospital. We present the findings from an exploratory telephone survey of 128 healthcare professionals (HCPs) (85 pediatric neurologists and neurologists, 28 community pediatricians, and 15 epilepsy nurses) from six EU countries, conducted as part of the PERFECT™ initiative. Among HCPs, there was greater awareness of local protocols and lesser awareness of national or international guidelines. HCPs were not very aware of how prolonged convulsive seizures were managed outside of the hospital and had few professional links to schools or other settings where these seizures were most likely to occur. Approximately one third believed that lack of confidence and fear of liability were barriers to caregivers administering treatment in schools, as was insufficient training of caregivers in the wider community on the management of prolonged convulsive seizures. Conclusion: Results of this HCP survey have identified several clear gaps that need to be addressed: clearer guidance that spans all settings of care, greater dissemination of such guidelines across the chain of care, more open communication and better links between HCPs and schools, and systematic training of all relevant caregivers on the appropriate management of prolonged convulsive seizures.