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Introduction: Febrile convulsion is defined as seizures occurring in children with fever in the absence of any brain pathology. It is usually a frightening experience for the caregivers and parents who in the bid to stop the seizure can apply harmful substances on the child before presenting to the hospital. This study seeks to determine the prevalence and pattern of febrile convulsion in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
Patients and Methods: Retrospective study of children admitted to the paediatrics emergency ward from October 2017 to October 2019 was carried out. Patient’s records were used to retrieve relevant information. Descriptive analysis was done, test of significance was by chi square and a p value of ≤ 0.05 was significant.
Results: 2463 children were admitted within the period, 165(6.7%) of them had febrile convulsion. (χ2=1.88, p= 0.17). The ages ranged from 6 months – 60 months with a mean age of 24.08±15.07 months. The median age at onset was 20.06±14.02 months. About 69.0% of the cases occurred within the ages of 12-36 months. A total of 156(94.6%) of the children with febrile convulsions had simple febrile convulsions while 9(5.4%) had complex febrile convulsion. One hundred and twenty two (73.9%) had a family history of febrile convulsion, of which 74(60.7%) were males and 48(39.3%) were females (χ2=7.01, p=0.008). The causes of febrile convulsion were malaria (56.4%) and URTI (30.9%). In 119(72.1%) of the cases harmful substances were administered at home before presenting to the hospital.
Conclusion: Febrile convulsion is common in children. Over half of the cases were due to Malaria; the use of multiple harmful substances during convulsive episodes is common. Malaria control and health education may reduce the prevalence and morbidity in children.
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