Time from convulsive status epilepticus onset to anticonvulsant administration in children

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe the time elapsed from onset of pediatric convulsive status epilepticus (SE) to administration of antiepileptic drug (AED).

Methods:

This was a prospective observational cohort study performed from June 2011 to June 2013. Pediatric patients (1 month–21 years) with convulsive SE were enrolled. In order to study timing of AED administration during all stages of SE, we restricted our study population to patients who failed 2 or more AED classes or needed continuous infusions to terminate convulsive SE.

Results:

We enrolled 81 patients (44 male) with a median age of 3.6 years. The first, second, and third AED doses were administered at a median (p25–p75) time of 28 (6–67) minutes, 40 (20–85) minutes, and 59 (30–120) minutes after SE onset. Considering AED classes, the initial AED was a benzodiazepine in 78 (96.3%) patients and 2 (2–3) doses of benzodiazepines were administered before switching to nonbenzodiazepine AEDs. The first and second doses of nonbenzodiazepine AEDs were administered at 69 (40–120) minutes and 120 (75–296) minutes. In the 64 patients with out-of-hospital SE onset, 40 (62.5%) patients did not receive any AED before hospital arrival. In the hospital setting, the first and second in-hospital AED doses were given at 8 (5–15) minutes and 16 (10–40) minutes after SE onset (for patients with in-hospital SE onset) or after hospital arrival (for patients with out-of-hospital SE onset).

Conclusions:

The time elapsed from SE onset to AED administration and escalation from one class of AED to another is delayed, both in the prehospital and in-hospital settings.

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