Background: A simulation-based course, Pediatric Simulation Training for Emergency Prehospital Providers (PediSTEPPs), was developed to optimize pediatric prehospital care. Seizures are common in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and no studies have evaluated pediatric outcomes after EMS simulation training.
Objectives: The primary objective was to determine if PediSTEPPs enhances seizure protocol adherence in blood glucose measurement and midazolam administration for seizing children. The secondary objective was to describe management of seizing patients by EMS and Emergency Departments (EDs).
Methods: This is a two-year retrospective cohort study of paramedics who transported 0-18 year old seizing patients to ten urban EDs. Management was compared between EMS crews with at least one paramedic who attended PediSTEPPs and crews that had none. Blood glucose measurement, medications administered, intravenous (IV) access, seizure recurrence, and respiratory failure data were collected from databases and run reports. Data were compared using Pearson's χ(2) test and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (categorical) and the Mann-Whitney test (continuous).
Results: Of 2200 pediatric transports with a complaint of seizure, 250 (11%) were actively seizing at the time of transport. Of these, 65 (26%) were treated by a PediSTEPPs-trained paramedic. Blood glucose was slightly more likely to be checked by trained than untrained paramedics (OR = 1.35, 95% CI 0.72-2.51). Overall, 58% received an indicated dose of midazolam, and this was slightly more likely in the trained than untrained paramedics (OR = 1.39, 95% CI 0.77-2.49). There were no differences in secondary outcomes between groups. The prevalence of hypoglycemia was low (2%). Peripheral IVs were attempted in 80%, and midazolam was predominantly given by IV (68%) and rectal (12%) routes, with 51% receiving a correct dose. Seizures recurred in 22%, with 34% seizing on ED arrival. Respiratory failure occurred in the prehospital setting in 25 (10%) patients in the study.
Conclusion: Simulation-based training on pediatric seizure management may have utility. Data support the need to optimize the route and dose of midazolam for seizing children. Blood glucose measurement in seizure protocols may warrant reprioritization due to low hypoglycemia prevalence.
Key words: seizure; emergency medical services; simulation; pediatrics.