Status epilepticus (SE) is a frequent admission diagnosis to paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) and is associated with variable outcomes. We have audited our experience of patients presenting in SE at a Canadian PICU to determine unfavorable outcome variables.
Charts of patients <18 years of age presenting in SE to a tertiary care PICU over a 10-year period were audited. Data were analyzed at three care-points: transport, the emergency department (ED) and the PICU. Patient outcome before PICU discharge was categorized as “favorable” for return to pre-status functioning level or “unfavorable” for new deficit/death. Student’s t-test and the Kruskal-Wallis test were used for analysis of normal and skewed continuous variables, respectively, and either Chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test for categorical variables.
189 patients (54% males) were identified with a median age of 1.9 years. Idiopathic SE had the highest incidence; infectious/vascular etiologies were associated with more unfavorable outcomes. Progression to refractory SE in the ED had a higher incidence of death (p<0.05). Patients with an unfavorable outcome had a higher incidence of apnea during transport (p=0.01), longer hospital stays (p<0.05), need for therapeutic coma (p=0.01), longer duration of therapeutic coma (p<0.05), need for mechanical ventilation (p<0.05), and recurrent or refractory seizures during inpatient stay (p<0.05). Multivariate analysis of unfavorable outcomes of patients in SE presenting to the PICU included renal failure, cerebral edema, apnea during transport, refractory seizures, and recurrent seizures.
Refractory seizures in children presenting with SE are associated with worsened outcomes in the PICU.