What have we learned from febrile seizures?

J. M. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


What have we learned from febrile seizures? We have learned that there is a natural history to different seizure types, what some have taken to calling "seizure syndromes." We have learned that understanding these "natural histories" may be helpful in making decisions about treatment. We have learned that seizures themselves, while unpleasant, may not be harmful and don't always have to be treated. We have learned that sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease and that the side effects of medication may have more consequences than the occurrence of another seizure. We have learned that the determination of the "risks" and consequences of the seizures should be made by the patient or the family, and that they may assess the risks and benefits quite differently than the physician. Similarly, the benefits and consequences of anticonvulsant medication may be assessed quite differently by different people. We have learned that all seizures do not need to be treated, and we have learned that those that are treated should be treated for the shortest time possible. I believe that these are important lessons that should affect our management of afebrile seizures as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-356, 359
JournalPediatric annals
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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