An Evidence-based Guideline for Pediatric Prehospital Seizure Management Using GRADE Methodology

Prehosp Emerg Care. 2014;18 Suppl 1:15-24. doi: 10.3109/10903127.2013.844874. Epub 2013 Dec 3.


Objective: The objective of this guideline is to recommend evidence-based practices for timely prehospital pediatric seizure cessation while avoiding respiratory depression and seizure recurrence.

Methods: A multidisciplinary panel was chosen based on expertise in pediatric emergency medicine, prehospital medicine, and/or evidence-based guideline development. The panel followed the National Prehospital EBG Model using the GRADE methodology to formulate questions, retrieve evidence, appraise the evidence, and formulate recommendations. The panel members initially searched the literature in 2009 and updated their searches in 2012. The panel finalized a draft of a patient care algorithm in 2012 that was presented to stakeholder organizations to gather feedback for necessary revisions.

Results: Five strong and ten weak recommendations emerged from the process; all but one was supported by low or very low quality evidence. The panel sought to ensure that the recommendations promoted timely seizure cessation while avoiding respiratory depression and seizure recurrence. The panel recommended that all patients in an active seizure have capillary blood glucose checked and be treated with intravenous (IV) dextrose or intramuscular (IM) glucagon if <60 mg/dL (3 mmol/L). The panel also recommended that non-IV routes (buccal, IM, or intranasal) of benzodiazepines (0.2 mg/kg) be used as first-line therapy for status epilepticus, rather than the rectal route.

Conclusions: Using GRADE methodology, we have developed a pediatric seizure guideline that emphasizes the role of capillary blood glucometry and the use of buccal, IM, or intranasal benzodiazepines over IV or rectal routes. Future research is needed to compare the effectiveness and safety of these medication routes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Buccal
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Benzodiazepines / administration & dosage
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Child
  • Consensus
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Emergency Medicine / organization & administration
  • Evidence-Based Emergency Medicine / standards*
  • Glucagon / administration & dosage
  • Glucose / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / diagnosis
  • Hypoglycemia / therapy
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Pediatrics / organization & administration
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Seizures / therapy*
  • Status Epilepticus / therapy*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Glucagon
  • Glucose