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Original Article

IJMDC. 2020; 4(10): 1520-1526

Prevalence and risk factors of febrile convulsions among infants and children in Saudi Arabia

Muneerah Alhumaidy, Yasmeen Al-Mulhim, Walaa Alabdullah, Fatimah Mohammed Ahmed Alshakhs, Mareyah Abdulrahman Alshaikh Husain, Zahraa Ahmad Alsubaie, Zahra Zuhair Falah Al Khalifah.


Background: Febrile convulsion (FC) is defined as seizures that are provoked by a fever of extracranial infective origin and occur in children aged between 6 months and 5 years. This study aimed at determining the percentage of febrile seizures in children and infants in Saudi Arabia and assessing some of the clinical and demographic characteristics of those children.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional, community-based study conducted in different areas of Saudi Arabia. Data were collected through filling a predesigned online disseminated questionnaire which guided us to the needed data. We utilized the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences program version 16 for data analysis. The χ2 test was used as a test of significance, and differences were considered significant at a P-value less than 0.05.
Results: The prevalence of FCs was 6.8% and it was significantly more common in females than males (p < 0.04). The age of onset of FCs was 12-16 months in 40.9% and 0-6 months in 20.5%. A family history of FCs was found in 31.8%. The duration of the fits was more than 30 minutes in 18.2%. Body temperature during the fits was >38°C in 43.2% and 56.8% of the children were unconscious during the fits. Only 9.1% of the cases bit their
tongue during the fits, 59.1% had abnormal eye movements, 22.7% vomited during the fits, 56.8% were unconscious, and 40.9% of the children had weakness in one or more limbs during the fits. At the beginning of the fits, the mother, in 68.2% of the cases, rushed the child to the hospital and 15.9% of mothers tried to manage the child’s body temperature, but finally, the majority of cases (75%) were treated in the hospital.
Conclusion: In our study, the prevalence of FCs among children in Saudi Arabia was 6.8%. The results reported the prevalence to be significantly more common in females than males, but they were insignificantly related to the age group, birth weight, type of delivery, complications of pregnancy, hospital admission after birth, gestational age, or consanguinity between parents.

Key words: Febrile convulsions, children, prevalence, risk factors, Saudi Arabia.

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