The short-term outcome of seizure management by prehospital personnel: A comparison of two protocols

Sergey G. Galustyan, Christine M. Walsh-Kelly, Del Szewczuga, Jo Bergholte, Halim Hennes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the impact of an emergency medical service protocol with reduced diazepam dose on the intubation rate of children with seizure. activity treated by emergency medical service personnel and to evaluate the short-term outcome comparing 2 emergency medical service treatment protocols. Methods: Retrospective review of the emergency medical service and hospital databases of children 0-18 years with seizure activity. Prior to January 1996, the county emergency medical service protocol recommended a diazepam dose of 0.2-0.5 mg/kg iv or pr for termination of seizure activity (group 1). As of January 1996, the diazepam dose was reduced to 0.05-0.1 mg/kg iv or pr (group 2). Demographics, emergency medical service and emergency department interventions, and disposition data were abstracted. Results: 1516 subjects met the enrollment criteria: 1003 (66%) in group 1 and 513 (34%) in group 2. Emergency medical service administered diazepam to 288 subjects: 189 (19%) in group 1 and 99 (19%) in group 2. Twenty (7%) of all treated subjects required intubation: 19 in group 1 and 1 in group 2 (relative risk 9.7, 95% CI 1.30-72.5). Mean diazepam dose was 0.17 mg/kg in group I and 0.13 mg/kg in group 2 (mean difference 0.04, 95% CI 0.02-0.06). No significant difference in the requirement for repeated anticonvulsant dose, complications, or emergency department interventions was noted. However, hospital admission rate was lower in group 2 (rate difference 0.06, 95% CI 0.01-0.11). Conclusions: Our study demonstrated a reduction in intubation rate and a need for hospitalization in the reduced diazepam dose emergency medical service protocol. The reduction in the diazepam dose was effective in terminating the seizure activity and did not increase the risk of adverse events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Diazepam
  • Emergency medical service
  • Outcome
  • Seizure
  • Tracheal intubation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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