Monday, November 30, 2015

Febrile Seizures: Our Experience

***Yesterday Esther had a febrile seizure. It was scary but luckily I knew what it was. I wanted to write down what happened, first of all to remember what happened and also so other people can know what to look out for.***

Esther had had a fever for about a day before we were supposed to leave for my parents for Thanksgiving. Thinking it was one of those sicknesses that would quickly run it's course we decided to still go. She had a fever the entire time we were there, but it would come down a little with ibuprofen. By Friday she had had the fever for four days, with no other symptoms so we decided to take her to instacare. The Dr. there couldn't find anything wrong with her and said it was most likely a virus, maybe Roseola and to keep giving her medicine for the fever.

By Sunday she was pretty much the same, but we thought maybe she was getting better and we started spacing out the doses of ibuprofen a little more. When we were driving home Esther had no fever and quickly fell asleep in the car. I was sitting in the back seat with her when she suddenly woke up. She started acting really odd, pulling on my hands and motioning for me to unbuckle her. I noticed she had a fever now and started to try to get her some ibuprofen when we realized we left the syringe at my parents house. Just then her hands started clenching up and her lips started turning blue. Her eyes were still open and she was looking at me. I thought it might be a seizure because of her fever but I had always thought a seizure would be much more extreme (like what you see on an episode of House). I was still super worried though because her hands were a dark color and her lips were turning blue. She kept pointing at her water so I gave her some to drink.

Luckily we were right at the exit for Beaver so I told Leland to take it and that we needed to take her to the hospital. Leland didn't really know what was going on but when I told him I thought she was having a seizure he looked on his phone and found where the hospital was. By this time I had Esther out of her car seat and in my lap. She had cried out a few times but was still convulsing. The color had come back to her lips and she was breathing. Her whole body kept stiffening up though. Finally as we were getting close to the hospital it stopped and she was just laying on me. I took her into the ER while Leland took care of Loki (who came with us on this trip, luckily the ER didn't take long because he was out in the cold car the whole time) then he joined us.

Once we got in the ER Esther started falling asleep on me, which is common after febrile seizures. I was still unsure if that was what had happened because it didn't look like what I thought a seizure would look like. They took forever getting all of our information, but finally got us into a bed a took her temperature. It was 104.9, the highest it had been her whole sickness. The nurse was really nice and explained that 1 in 25 kids will have a febrile seizure, and that once they have one there is a 30-50% chance they will have another one before they grow out of them.

After giving her medicine to get her fever down, the Dr came in and looked her over. Since fever was still her only symptom he gave us a prescription for antibiotics. She most likely has some type of bacterial infection somewhere.

It was a very scary experience, but I was glad that I knew what was happening so I didn't panic or anything, I barely slept last night because I was so worried she would have another one, but so far she hasn't. Esther is still sick today, and we still don't know exactly what's wrong, but hopefully the antibiotics will start working and she will be fully recovered soon.

This very blurry snapchat picture was the only one I took the whole weekend... This is after the whole ordeal. When we were driving home Loki loved to sleep on her <3. 

Here are some facts about febrile seizures (taken from taken from

Febrile seizures are seizures or convulsions that occur in young children and are triggered by fever.  Young children between the ages of about 6 months and 5 years old are the most likely to experience febrile seizures; this risk peaks during the second year of life.  The fever may accompany common childhood illnesses such as a cold, the flu, or an ear infection.  In some cases, a child may not have a fever at the time of the seizure but will develop one a few hours later.
The vast majority of febrile seizures are convulsions. Most often during a febrile seizure, a child will lose consciousness and both arms and legs will shake uncontrollably. Less common symptoms include eye rolling, rigid (stiff) limbs, or twitching on only one side or a portion of the body, such as an arm or a leg.  Sometimes during a febrile seizure, a child may lose consciousness but will not noticeably shake or move.
Most febrile seizures last only a few minutes and are accompanied by a fever above 101°F (38.3°C).  Although they can be frightening for parents, brief febrile seizures (less than 15 minutes) do not cause any long-term health problems.  Having a febrile seizure does not mean a child has epilepsy, since that disorder is characterized by reoccurring seizures that are not triggered by fever.  Even prolonged seizures (lasting more 15 minutes) generally have a good outcome but carry an increased risk of developing epilepsy.

And here is what you should do if your child has one: 
  • Note the start time of the seizure.  If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, call an ambulance.  The child should be taken immediately to the nearest medical facility for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Call an ambulance if the seizure is less than 5 minutes but the child does not seem to be recovering quickly.  
  • Gradually place the child on a protected surface such as the floor or ground to prevent accidental injury.  Do not restrain or hold a child during a convulsion.
  • Position the child on his or her side or stomach to prevent choking.  When possible, gently remove any objects from the child’s mouth. Nothing should ever be placed in the child's mouth during a convulsion.  These objects can obstruct the child's airway and make breathing difficult.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if this is the child’s first febrile seizure and take the child to the doctor once the seizure has ended to check for the cause of the fever.  This is especially urgent if the child shows symptoms of stiff neck, extreme lethargy, or abundant vomiting, which may be signs of meningitis, an infection over the brain surface.
Hopefully this information is helpful to someone out there. After reading other stories online, I found that most parents had no clue what was going on and were panicing, thinking their child was going to die. I'm glad that I had already heard of febrile seizures and knew they weren't actually harmful. 

1 comment:

  1. Too scary, glad it all came out ok. Hope she is feeling better today.


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