Friday, December 22, 2017

Febrile Seizure - What is it?

This post is super, super late but I thought before the year ends, I should write about our experience so I can go back to this post whenever I needed to.

First, what is Febrile Seizure?

Taken from the Mayo Clinic page:
A febrile seizure is a convulsion in a child that may be caused by a spike in body temperature, often from an infection. Your child's having a febrile seizure can be alarming, and the few minutes it lasts can seem like an eternity.
 Febrile seizures represent a unique response of a child's brain to fever, usually the first day of a fever. Fortunately, they're usually harmless and typically don't indicate an ongoing problem. You can help by keeping your child safe during a febrile seizure and by comforting him or her afterward.
Call your doctor to have your child evaluated as soon as possible after a febrile seizure.
Febrile seizure symptoms can range from mild — staring — to more severe shaking or tightening of the muscles.
A child having a febrile seizure may:
Have a fever higher than 100.4 F (38.0 C)
Lose consciousness
Shake or jerk arms and legs 
Febrile seizures are classified as simple or complex: 
Simple febrile seizures. This more common type lasts from a few seconds to 15 minutes. Simple febrile seizures do not recur within a 24-hour period and are generalized, not specific to one part of the body.
Complex febrile seizures. This type lasts longer than 15 minutes, occurs more than once within 24 hours or is confined to one side of your child's body.
 Febrile seizures most often occur within 24 hours of the onset of a fever and can be the first sign that a child is ill

Back in February, Jeron had the usual fever. I went to work that morning and left instructions to the yayas to keep on monitoring Jeron's temperature, never miss his medicine schedule and continue giving him sponge baths. When I went home that evening, Jeron still has the fever at 39 degrees. I gave him a sponge bath which brought down his fever to 38 degrees, I cannot sleep that night so I just played on my phone while looking after Jeron. Suddenly, Jeron switched positions and looked like he was about to vomit so I went to him and then the shaking started.

His eyes rolled backwards, both of his arms were shaking. I immediately carried him, brought him to the sink and put water on the top of his head. He was shaking for maybe 10 seconds, I passed him to the Yaya while I went back to the bedroom to fix our things. I'm bringing him to the ER at 11pm, my husband still at work and I was only with one of the yayas. The other yaya stayed home with Johan who I know was so confused and scared that night. He kept on asking me what's happening, I only told him to stay home because I needed to rush Jeron to the ER.

Usually, it would be too hard to get a ride at that hour but luckily for us, as we went out of our gate, a tricycle immediately passed and stopped when the driver saw us. He drove as fast as he can to the ER when I told him it's an emergency. This is the time that Jeron lost consciousness. The Yaya was holding him and I kept on shouting, "Is he still breathing?!". He was so I calmed down a bit and kept on praying loud.

When we arrived at the ER, I had to shout help before any of the staff went to us (Oh this hospital, I've had a few not so good experiences with). One of the residents began interviewing me while the nurses attended to Jeron. They inserted an IV, took blood samples and told me that we had to admit him for further monitoring. The husband arrived after an hour, we went to admissions to get a room and was finally transferred.

We were admitted for five days. In the duration of that time, Jeron's pedia did tests because we were looking for what caused the fever. He didn't have any cough or colds at that time. His Kuya Johan recently had mumps so we were guessing Jeron might have gotten it as well. But there's no swelling on his neck and blood tests returned normal. The pedia wanted to do a lumbar tap, to which we declined. I was very worried about Jeron having to experience that at an early age. I know that the pedia meant well but I didn't see the need to do the procedure. Plus, Jeron has been pricked so many times during our stay at the hospital, he's given blood samples so many times and I saw how stressed my son was everytime a nurse went to our room to get another blood sample. He was on IV antibiotics the entire time and on the fourth day, the swelling appeared. He's got mumps. That is what's causing the fever which manifested late.

We were discharged on our fifth day. Months after that episode, whenever Jeron has a fever, I had to file a leave from work. I was so traumatized after seeing him had a seizure that I had to make sure I was at home in case it happens again.

Things to remember in emergency cases like this:
  1. Do not panic. When Jeron started shaking, I did not panic, I was moving fast. Not panicking allows you to think better on what needs to be done. 
  2. Proper monitoring of the child's fever. Our yayas did not monitor his fever that day, they did not use the thermometer as I instructed. His fever would have shot up to 40 degrees without me knowing. 
  3. Discuss with your pedia. Jeron's pedia is a new one, we had to transfer to Dra. Litao after a bad experience with his previous one. Dra. Litao is a kind doctor, she explains thoroughly what needs to be done, what are the possible causes of his sickness. She was very patient in answering all our questions. 
  4. Keep your kids' HMO cards within reach. Usually, my kids' cards are inside the drawer, on that particular night, call it instinct or whatever, I took out Jeron's HMO card from the drawer and put it inside my bag.
  5. Stay strong for your child. I am scared of needles, despite giving birth via caesarian section twice, I am still scared of getting pricked. When the IV was inserted on Jeron's arm, I felt nauseous but I had to get over my fear so I can take better care of my child.

Now, Jeron is a healthy kid and he never had seizures again, hopefully not ever again.

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