Children With Complex Febrile Seizures: Is Hospital Admission Necessary?

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Children with complex febrile seizure (CFS) are often hospitalized for concerns for serious bacterial infection (SBI) or seizure recurrence. We describe the yield of diagnostic studies and seizure recurrence during hospitalization in CFS children. We performed a retrospective review of 372 visits in 350 developmentally normal children aged 6 to 60 months between 2011 and 2016 for CFS. Majority of patients were male (200; 57.1%), with a mean age of 19.8 ± 11.3 months. Active seizures were noted in 42 (11.3%), status epilepticus in 35 (9.4%) while 97 (26.1%) had a seizure in the pediatric emergency department. The distribution of SBI was as follows: bacteremia (3; 1.1%), urinary tract infection (7; 3.7%), pneumonia (15; 6.8%), and bacterial meningitis (0; 0%). Electroencephalography (EEG) abnormality was rare (7/158; 4.4%). Seizure recurrence during hospitalization was uncommon (19; 5.1%). Logistic regression analysis did not reveal any predictors for seizure recurrence. The seizure recurrence rate during hospitalization, EEG yield, and SBI incidence was low in children with CFS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-369
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • children
  • complex febrile seizures
  • serious bacterial infections


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