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Seizure Increases Risk of Respiratory Failure and Death in Children with Pneumonia, Study Suggests

A recent study suggests that risk factors for seizure in children with pneumonia must be identified earlier for doctors to treat them right away and potentially reduce fatalities in these patients, particularly in resource-limited settings.

Photo: Child with Pneumonia | InStyleHealth

Historical chart analysis was performed on children under 5 years old with World Health Organization (WHO) classified clinical (excluding seizure as one of the clinical diagnostics) and radiologic pneumonia, admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at Dhaka Hospital of icddr,b in Bangladesh between August 2013 and December 2019.

Researchers initially identified the children with pneumonia who had seizure. For comparison purposes, researchers randomly selected controls from the rest of the children with pneumonia who had no seizure. Prevalence and outcome of seizure patients were then measured. Finally, factors that are related to seizure in children with pneumonia compared with those without seizure were classified..

Seizure was characterized by sudden, violent, involuntary, and abnormal repetitive movements with or without loss or impairment of consciousness confirmed by an attending physician.

There was a total of 4,101 children with pneumonia were classified, of whom 514 (12.5%) had seizure. Comparing it with those without seizure, children having both pneumonia and seizure were more likely to develop respiratory failure and during hospitalization.

Using the logistic regression analysis presented that hypoxemia, severe pneumonia, severe sepsis, and hypernatremia were independently correlated with a higher risk of seizure.

On the contrary, children with pneumonia having seizure were less likely to develop severe acute malnutrition.

According to the researchers that, pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of deaths in children under 5 for the last few decades. Development of seizure in those children is common and associated with increased risk of deaths.

Source: Pediatr Infect Dis J 2021;40:389-393

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