Prehospital Seizure Management in Children: An Evaluation of a Nationally Representative Sample

Sriram Ramgopal*, Christian Martin-Gill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the characteristics and emergency medical services (EMS) interventions, appropriateness of medication dosing, and factors associated with use of any or multiple doses of benzodiazepines for children with seizures in the prehospital setting from a nationally representative dataset. Methods: We performed a retrospective study of EMS encounters within the National EMS Information System between 2019 and 2021, including children (<18 years) with an impression of seizures. We identified (1) factors associated with the use of benzodiazepines in a logistic regression model and (2) factors associated with multiple doses of benzodiazepines in an ordinal regression model. Results: We included 361 177 encounters for seizure. Among transports with an Advanced Life Support clinician, 89.9% were given no benzodiazepines and 7.7%, 1.9%, and 0.4% were given 1, 2, and ≥3 doses of benzodiazepines, respectively. Encounters given more doses of benzodiazepines had increased use of supplemental oxygen. A high proportion (43.4%) of EMS-provided initial benzodiazepine doses were inappropriately low. EMS-provided benzodiazepine use was associated with use of benzodiazepine prior to EMS arrival. Provision of multiple doses of EMS-provided benzodiazepines was associated with use of a low initial dose of benzodiazepine and use of lorazepam or diazepam compared with midazolam. Conclusion: A large proportion of prehospital pediatric patients with seizure are given inappropriately low dose of benzodiazepines. Use of a low dose of benzodiazepine and use of benzodiazepines other than midazolam are associated with additional benzodiazepine usage. Our findings have implications for future research and quality improvement needs in pediatric prehospital seizure management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113379
Journaljournal of pediatrics
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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