First seizure without fever in children: Local referral process explained

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY1235/2021
  • Departments: Emergency Department, Paediatrics

Introduction

This leaflet aims to explain the local referral and follow-up process for a child who presents to the Emergency Department following a first seizure without fever.

In the Emergency Department

During your initial presentation to the Emergency Department your child will have had a thorough clinical examination. They will also have had a heart rhythm trace (ECG or electrocardiogram), a blood pressure and a blood glucose test performed.

A referral has been made for your child to be seen by the children’s neurology team in the First Seizure Clinic. All of the relevant information, examination findings and investigation results have been included in the referral.

The children’s neurology team is made up of paediatric epilepsy and neurology specialist nurses and consultants. They look after children with a wide range of conditions and symptoms and are very experienced in looking after children who have had seizures. This is why your child has been referred to their clinic for further assessment. Referral to this clinic does not mean your child has epilepsy.

Your doctor has also been informed of your attendance.

What next?

You will be contacted by one of the paediatric neurology specialist nurses within 48 hours of the referral being received (during Monday to Friday office hours). Your face to face clinic appointment with the consultant is likely to be within a few weeks of this phone call.

You should expect to have at least one face to face clinic appointment with the consultant.

Following assessment in clinic, some children will have further tests arranged, including a brain rhythm trace (electroencephalogram, EEG), a brain scan and or blood tests. Not all children will require these investigations.

What do I do if my child has another seizure?

Before you are discharged from the Emergency Department, you will have been given some verbal advice regarding seizure safety and also provided with an information leaflet titled “Following first seizure without feverhey.nhs.uk/patient-leaflet/rcpch-following-a-first-seizure-without-fever-in-children-and-young-people/

If your child has another seizure, please follow the seizure safety advice. Once you have ensured your child is safe, if possible please video the seizure/episode so your doctors can see exactly what has happened.

If your child has a seizure lasting longer than 5 minutes, or multiple seizures in a day or if you are very worried and think your child needs emergency treatment, then call 999.

If you do not think your child needs emergency treatment and you feel comfortable staying at home (i.e. single seizure lasting less than 5 minutes, no concerns about breathing and your child makes a complete recovery) then you do not have to attend the emergency department again, but please contact the specialist nurses to inform them about this further seizure/episode, via telephone during weekday office hours.

Specialist nurses’ office number (01482) 674151 – Monday to Friday office hours

If your child is already known to a paediatric consultant, you can also ring their consultant’s secretary.

Remember, your doctor or NHS 111 are also good ways to get advice over the telephone.

 

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