The administration of rescue medication to children with prolonged acute convulsive seizures in the community: What happens in practice?

Suzanne Wait, Lieven Lagae, Alexis Arzimanoglou, Ettore Beghi, Christine Bennett, J. Helen Cross, Janet Mifsud, Dieter Schmidt, Gordon Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the findings of a review of existing clinical and non-clinical guidance on the management of children with prolonged acute convulsive seizures (PCS) and the administration of rescue medication in community settings. Findings are based on desk- and web-based research in 6 countries. Published clinical guidelines are mostly limited to the hospital setting and offer few explicit recommendations for community settings. Non-clinical guidance on the management of medicines at school exists at the national or regional level in all 6 countries, however rescue epilepsy medication is often not mentioned specifically. Existing legal frameworks are vague and open to interpretation. As a result, whether a child receives rescue medication at school depends primarily on the availability of a willing teacher who accepts responsibility for administering it to that child during school hours. Comprehensive guidelines are clearly needed that provide practical guidance to ensure that children with PCS are treated as quickly as possible in all community settings. Recommendations for future action include: providing clearer information on PCS and rescue medication to parents and schools; putting in place an individual healthcare plan for every child with a history of PCS at his or her school; collecting more empirical data to gain a better understanding of the experience of children with PCS at school, their parents and teachers; and finally, implementing systematic training for all carers of children with PCS. The epilepsy specialist may play an important role in ensuring that these recommendations are put into place for their patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Benzodiazepines
  • Community
  • Epilepsy
  • Guidelines
  • Prolonged convulsive seizure
  • Rescue medication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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