Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
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Background: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: Refractory seizures in children presenting with SE are associated with worsened outcomes in the PICU.