Understanding the pathophysiology behind febrile convulsions
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Understanding the pathophysiology behind febrile convulsions

Rebecca Ferrier Innes Staff nurse, paediatric assessment unit, Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Rebecca Ferrier Innes looks at how nurses should assess young children who present with this condition to help them make effective treatment decisions

The most common background to hyperpyrexia and convulsions is immaturity of the child’s physiological reactions to infection, so an understanding of the pathophysiology of pyrexia and febrile convulsions in young children enables nurses to take appropriate action. Correct management involves prompt recognition of rising temperature, administration of antipyretic medication, use of other cooling strategies and careful monitoring. Diagnosis of the underlying cause occasionally requires laboratory investigation, if no focus for infection is found, most cases being viral.

Correspondence beckyfinnes@gmail.com

Nursing Children and Young People. 27, 2,20-23. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.27.2.20.e497

Received: 08 January 2014

Accepted: 23 December 2014

Published in print: 11 March 2015

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review

Conflict Of Interest

None declared