Nursing management of reflex anoxic seizures in children
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice Previous     Next

Nursing management of reflex anoxic seizures in children

Neal Patel Year 4 medical student, University of Bristol, England
Rowan Kerr-Liddell Consultant paediatrician, Torbay Hospital, Torquay, Devon, England
Louise Challis Respiratory and neonatal nurse, Children’s Community Team, Torbay Hospital, Torquay, Devon, England
Siba Prosad Paul Consultant paediatrician, Torbay Hospital, Torquay, Devon, England

Children who present with transient loss of consciousness (T-LOC) are often first seen in emergency departments (EDs). Reflex anoxic seizure (RAS), vasovagal syncope and prolonged respiratory apnoea are benign, syncopal events that can be generally managed by explanation and reassurance. RAS is a short, paroxysmal, self-reverting episode of asystole that is triggered by pain, fear or anxiety and is caused by increased vagal response. It is an important differential diagnosis in pre-school age children who present with T-LOC, but is often underdiagnosed and can sometimes be misdiagnosed as epilepsy. Nurses working in EDs are among the first healthcare professionals to see children in acute settings and should therefore be aware of RAS, the presenting features and management options. This article discusses the epidemiology, pathophysiology and management of RAS, includes an illustrative case study and discusses the role of ED nurses.

Emergency Nurse. 25, 1, 22-26. doi: 10.7748/en.2017.e1646

Correspondence

siba.paul@nhs.net

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 19 September 2016

Accepted: 28 November 2016

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or