Time from convulsive status epilepticus onset to anticonvulsant administration in children

Neurology. 2015 Jun 9;84(23):2304-11. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001673. Epub 2015 May 6.


Objective: To describe the time elapsed from onset of pediatric convulsive status epilepticus (SE) to administration of antiepileptic drug (AED).

Methods: This was a prospective observational cohort study performed from June 2011 to June 2013. Pediatric patients (1 month-21 years) with convulsive SE were enrolled. In order to study timing of AED administration during all stages of SE, we restricted our study population to patients who failed 2 or more AED classes or needed continuous infusions to terminate convulsive SE.

Results: We enrolled 81 patients (44 male) with a median age of 3.6 years. The first, second, and third AED doses were administered at a median (p25-p75) time of 28 (6-67) minutes, 40 (20-85) minutes, and 59 (30-120) minutes after SE onset. Considering AED classes, the initial AED was a benzodiazepine in 78 (96.3%) patients and 2 (2-3) doses of benzodiazepines were administered before switching to nonbenzodiazepine AEDs. The first and second doses of nonbenzodiazepine AEDs were administered at 69 (40-120) minutes and 120 (75-296) minutes. In the 64 patients with out-of-hospital SE onset, 40 (62.5%) patients did not receive any AED before hospital arrival. In the hospital setting, the first and second in-hospital AED doses were given at 8 (5-15) minutes and 16 (10-40) minutes after SE onset (for patients with in-hospital SE onset) or after hospital arrival (for patients with out-of-hospital SE onset).

Conclusions: The time elapsed from SE onset to AED administration and escalation from one class of AED to another is delayed, both in the prehospital and in-hospital settings.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Benzodiazepines / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Status Epilepticus / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Benzodiazepines