Saturday, 15 October 2016

Question Of The Day: School-age Child
Q. A 7 year old with a history of tonic-clonic seizures has been actively seizing for 10 minutes. The child weighs 22 kg and currently has an intravenous (IV) line of D5 1/2 NS + 20 meq KCL/L running at 60 ml/hr. Vital signs are a temperature of 38 degrees C, heart rate of 120, respiratory rate of 28, and oxygen saturation of 92%. Using the SBAR (Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation) technique for communication, the nurse calls the primary healthcare provider with a recommendation for:

A. Rectal diazepam (Diastat).
B. IV lorazepam (Ativan).
C. Rectal acetaminophen (Tylenol).
D. IV fosphenytoin.

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: IV ativan is the benzodiazepine of choice for treating prolonged seizure activity. IV benzodiazepines potentiate the action of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, stopping seizure activity. If an IV line is not available, rectal Diastat is the benzodiazepine of choice. The child does have a low-grade fever; however, this is likely caused by the excessive motor activity. The primary goal for the child is to stop the seizure in order to reduce neurologic damage. Benzodiazepines are used for the initial treatment of prolonged seizures. Once the seizure has ended, a loading dose of fosphenytoin or phenobarbital is given. 

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