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Febrile seizures

Febrile seizures occur due to disruption of nerve cells of the brain, thus releasing excessive electrical charge, exist in association with an elevated temperature, usually above 38 C. Febrile  seizures tend to be found in one family, so supposedly involves hereditary factors.

Often febrile seizures are associated with fever caused by another disease, such as infection of the brain (meningitis or encephalitis), respiratory tract infection, or ear infections. 

Febrile seizures can be divided into 2 types :

1.      Simple febrile seizure

2.      Complex febrile seizure

Simple febrile seizure

·         occurs at the age of 6 months – 5 years old

·         the seizure lasts shorter (<15 minutes)

·         there is no neurological deficit noted

·         the seizure described as  generalized seizure

Complex febrile seizure

·         occurs at the age of 6 months – 5 years old

·         the seizure is either focal,  lasts longer (> 15 minutes) or multiple seizures occur in close succession

·         it may cause complications or neurological deficit

Why the febrile seizures are dangerous ?

Episode of seizures may harm the brain as the spasm during seizures episode may interfere the cerebral blood flow, thus causing lack of oxygen to the brain which can lead to damage of the brain cells.

Damage in the brain cells furthermore can cause  epilepsy, mental retardation, and even paralysis.

Is the febrile seizure can be recurrence ?

The risk of the recurrence  of febrile seizures in another  episode of fever depending on the age of the child. 

Children aged less than 1 year old at the time of the first seizure occur, have 50% risk to experience febrile seizure  again.

Children older than 1 year old at the time of the first seizure occur,  have only 30% risk to experience febrile seizure again.

What to do when a seizure occur

·         Keep calm and prevent injury by clearing the surrounding area from sharp and hard objects

·         Loosen ties or anything around the neck or chest that may make breathing difficult

·         Place the head into his / her , and clear out his / her mouth if vomits

·         Do not put anything in the child’s mouth

·         Go to the nearest doctor or hospital in order to get further treatment

How can we prevent febrile seizure ?

Control the child’s temperature is the way to prevent febrile seizure. If a child developed fever, bathing or sponging the child with lukewarm water may help to bring down the fever. Do not use cold water or alcohol. If necessary you may give anti-pyretic medication such as paracetamol.

Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor for further examination.

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