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Febrile seizures: emergency medicine perspective

Kimia, Amir A.a; Bachur, Richard G.a; Torres, Alcyb; Harper, Marvin B.c

Current Opinion in Pediatrics: June 2015 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 292–297
doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000220
EMERGENCY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE: Edited by Jean Klig and Clifford W. Bogue
Editor's Choice

Purpose of review The review describes current evidence on the evaluation of febrile seizures in the acute setting, the need for further outpatient assessment, and predictors regarding long-term outcomes of these patients.

Recent findings New evidence has been added in support of limited assessment and intervention: evidence on low utility of lumbar puncture, emergent neuroimaging, and follow-up electroencephalography, as well as low yield for antipyretic prophylaxis and intermittent use of antiepileptic drugs. Finally, there is growing evidence regarding the genetic basis of both febrile seizures and vaccine-related seizures/febrile seizures.

Summary Routine diagnostic testing for simple febrile seizures is being discouraged, and clear evidence-based guidelines regarding complex febrile seizures are lacking. Thus, clinical acumen remains the most important tool for identifying children with seizures who are candidates for a more elaborate diagnostic evaluation. Similarly, evidence and guidelines regarding candidates for an emergent out-of-hospital diazepam treatment are lacking.

aDivision of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital

bPediatric Neurology, Boston Medical Center

cDivision of Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence to Amir A. Kimia, MD, Division of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Tel: +1 617 355 6624; e-mail:

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