Seizures are classified as prolonged if there is continuous seizure activity for 5 or more minutes, or if there are 3 or more seizures in an hour.12 During this time, patients may require ‘rescue’ medication to bring the seizure under control. Seizures can be triggered by various factors, including fever (resulting in ‘febrile seizures’), missed medication, lights, stress and not sleeping well.13,14 Febrile seizures are the most common type of seizure in children; approximately 1 child in 25 will have at least one febrile seizure, and more than one-third of these children will have a recurrence before they outgrow the tendency to have febrile seizures.14 Epileptic seizures, which rank among the most common childhood neurological emergencies in developed countries and affect nearly 1% of the population, have a significant impact on sufferers, with 15% experiencing a seizure or a series of seizures lasting for 30 minutes or longer in their lifetime.15,16
Prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures are considered a medical emergency and, if untreated, in rare cases can result in death.There are options available for the treatment of prolonged seizures; however, there is a place for more convenient presentation and dosing options that may enhance patient acceptability and compliance, especially for rescue medications that need to be administered outside the hospital setting.
References are available here.
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