Recognition and nursing management of reflex anoxic seizures in children.
Fenton-Jones, M. G.
Pasupulety Venkata, Nagendra Kumar
Lobban, T. C.
Paul, S. P.
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing (BJN)
PublisherMark Allen Group
RightsArchived with thanks to British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing)
MetadataShow full item record
Reflex anoxic seizures (RAS) present with a transient loss of consciousness and are triggered by an unexpected stimuli. These are paroxysmal, short-lived episodes of pronounced bradycardia or transient asystole; the episodes are self-limiting, lasting between 15 seconds and 1 minute. RAS are an important differential diagnosis of transient loss of consciousness but they are commonly misdiagnosed as epileptic events. An accurate and focused history is key to the diagnosis. They are mostly managed by performing an ECG to rule out other causes of arrhythmia, with subsequent explanation of the condition and reassurance given to parents. Nurses play an important role in eliciting the history and providing support to parents following the diagnosis. This article addresses the epidemiology and pathophysiology of RAS, with suggestions for management. An illustrative case study is included to highlight some of the challenges that health professionals working in different clinical set-ups are likely to come across while managing a child with RAS.