What is a first seizure evaluation?
When a child’s first seizure is unprovoked (not triggered by trauma, hypoglycemia or fever), it’s important to determine if the child has epilepsy or an underlying neurological disorder. Once a child has one seizure, there’s a heightened risk for more. That’s why it’s important for family members and caregivers to recognize signs of seizures—and be prepared to respond. A first seizure evaluation is an initial consultation with a pediatric neurology expert to help discover the reason for the seizure, as well as to diagnose a potential seizure disorder and prepare the patient and their family for any future seizure activity.
Who benefits from a first seizure evaluation?
Every year, tens of thousands of kids need medical attention because of a first or newly diagnosed seizure. At Gillette Children’s, specialists evaluate children—from infants to teens—who experience an unprovoked or prolonged seizure.
Our First Seizure Clinic includes a team of specially trained nurse practitioners and pediatric neurologists who specialize in epilepsy.
What should I expect during a first seizure evaluation?
During a first seizure evaluation, your child will meet with a nurse practitioner who specializes in seizure disorders to discuss medical history and complete a physical exam. We evaluate kids to determine seizure type, cause, and risk of having more seizures.
If your child is very young, or has complex medical or developmental conditions, he or she will have a neurology evaluation, such as an electroencephalogram (EEG), the same day.
Following the evaluation, you’ll talk with specialists about:
- The type, cause and risk of additional seizures.
- Seizures and what precautions will help ensure your child’s safety during a seizure.
- How to recognize and monitor seizures.
- When and how to use rescue medicines.
How does a first seizure evaluation help?
Depending on the findings from the first seizure evaluation, if your child needs ongoing treatment, we work with your family to develop an individualized care plan that addresses the type and cause of your child’s seizures.
A first seizure evaluation can help determine appropriate treatment. For example, we might recommend that you simply monitor your child. If the evaluation reveals an abnormal EEG or MRI, we might recommend epilepsy treatments such as seizure medication or, in rare instances, special food plans like a ketogenic diet or low glycemic index diet.
At Gillette, you’ll have the support of a comprehensive team of experts and specialists that works closely together to deliver the best care for your child.
In addition to your child having a first seizure evaluation, over the course of treatment, your family might work with: