Category: Paeds

Afebrile Seizure (Paed)

Child (<16) presents with PAROXSYMAL EVENT – episode of loss of consciousness, blank starring or other brief unusual behaviour


  • Detailed description of event
  • Before (trigger? Concurrent illness? Behaviour change? Cessation of activity?)
  • During (collapse? Colour change? Altered consciousness? Body stiff or floppy?, limb movements?)
  • After (sleepy?, unusual behaviour? Unsteady?, limb weakness?)
  • Copy and paste YAS EPR entry
  • Can child be distracted at any point
  • Does the event occur during exercise
  • Developmental history
  • Family History
  • Assess for red flags below


  • Documented neurological examination including gait – observe eye movement, look for a new squint
  • Cardiac Examination including blood pressure (esp if associated with exercise / colour change)


  • Ask parents to video events and keep detailed, descriptive diary (day, time, event-before, during and after)
  • ECG
  • Routine bloods are NOT required unless clinically indicated

RED Flags

  • Age < 1year
  • Acute confusion
  • Pervasive behaviour change / lethargy
  • New onset, recurrent convulsive seizures (>1 per week)
  • Abnormal cardiac examination or ECG findings
  • Abnormal neurological examination findings
  • Symptoms of raised intracranial pressure (blurred / double vision, headache at night or on waking, persistent nausea / vomiting)
  • Signs of sepsis / meningitis


  • RED Flag Ref to PAU (Paeds Reg)
  • Non Urgent Referral –
    • Document history and examination (esp. neuro)
    • Ask parents to video events
    • Send message to Salim Uka and Matthew Taylor through EPR “Communicate”  to request appointment (usually within a few weeks)
  • No Referral Required –
    • The following are examples of benign paroxysmal episodes that do not require a referral to paediatrics if the diagnosis is secure:
      • Breath holding attackes
      • Simple Faint
      • Reflex Anoxic Seizures (document normal ECG)
      • Sleep Myoclonus
      • Night Terrors

Paediatric – Time Critical Transfers (non-trauma)

Definition of a time critical transfer 

Transfer of a patient for life, limb or organ saving treatment when the time taken to provide this treatment is a critical factor in outcome. 


  1. Acceptance by the regional centre is NOT dependent on bed availability. 
  2. Time critical transfer should normally be provided by the referring hospital team NOT Embrace. 

Read more

Paediatric Ketamine Sedation

RCEM 2012 Safe sedation in the ED and RCEM Ketamine for paediatric procedural sedation guideline. Please read these documents in full or participate in RCEM learning for further information.


Characteristics of ketamine sedation

  • Dissociation – trance-like state with eyes open but not responding
  • Catalepsy – normal or slightly increased muscle tone maintained
  • Analgesia – excellent analgesia is typical
  • Amnesia – usually total
  • Airway reflexes maintained
  • Cardiovascular state – blood pressure and heart rate increase slightly
  • Nystagmus is typical – usually horizontal; eyes remain open and glazed

Who can perform it?

  • Senior medical staff (ST3+)
  • Must have done at least 6 months of anaesthetics/ICU
  • Familiar with giving ketamine, particularly in under 5s
  • Must have at least 3 staff members – someone to perform sedation, someone to perform procedure, someone to monitor the patient
  • Department must be safe – Senior ED Clinician in charge (Consultant of Senior Registrar when Consultant not present in department has final say over if it is appropriate to perform at any given time.

Where should it be performed?

  • ED resus
  • Full monitoring – 3 lead ECG, sats probe, BP cuff, CO2 monitoring


  • Child >1 years old
  • Procedures such as:
    • Reducing fractures
    • Suturing
    • Removal of foreign body
    • Chest drain placement


  • Any patient who requires to go to theatre for management of their condition
  • Any risk of difficult airway eg. abnormal airway anatomy
  • Allergy/serious adverse reaction to ketamine
  • Reduced GCS
  • Procedure in mouth or throat
  • Significant medical problems including:
    • Active respiratory infection/active acute asthma (high risk of laryngospasm)
    • Obstructive sleep apnoea
    • Moderate to severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
    • Psychological problems eg. severe behavioural or cognitive impairment or previous psychosis
    • Poorly controlled epilepsy
    • Significant cardiac disease
    • Pulmonary hypertension
    • Chronic Intracranial pathology
    • Intraocular pathology
    • Bowel obstruction
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Porphyria


  • For an emergency procedure in a child or young person who has not fasted, balance the risks and benefits of the decision to proceed with sedation before fasting criteria are achieved, on the urgency of the procedure and the target depth of sedation. Consider discussing this child with an anaesthetist.
  • Apply the 2-4-6 fasting rule for ketamine sedation in the ED if safe and appropriate for the procedure to wait for this:
    • 2 hours for clear fluids
    • 4 hours for breast milk
    • 6 hours for solids and formula milk


  • Parent and child (if appropriate) should be consented appropriately
  • Risks and benefits along with potential side effects should be explained
    • Mild side effects
      • Mild agitation (20%)
      • Hypersalivation and lacrimation (<10%)
      • Involuntary movements / ataxia (5%)
      • Vomiting 5-10% of children will vomit in recovery period
        • Can give ondansetron (0.1mg/kg) in intractable vomiting
      • Transient rash 10%
    • More serious complications
      • Apnoea (0.3%) – Give IV ketamine slowly over 1 minute to avoid this
      • Airway misalignment/noisy breathing (<1%) -Basic airway manoeuvres usually enough to resolve this
      • Laryngospasm (0.3%)
        • Basic airway manoeuvres
        • BVM if needed
        • Ask for help early
        • May require RSI (rarely 0.02%)
      • Emergence Phenomena (1.6% <10 years old, commoner as gets older)
          • Calm environment before procedure and as awakening
          • In very severe cases can give benzodiazepines (eg. 0.05-0.1mg/kg midazolam)

Ketamine dose

  • 1mg/kg – give over 1 minute
  • Supplemental dose (eg. in longer procedure if needed) – 0.5mg/kg
  • Initial dose and potential supplemental dose should be drawn up into separate syringes to minimise error
  • Calculate doses of emergency drugs that may be needed and ensure access to them
  • Speed of action of ketamine
    • Clinical onset (approximately) 1 minute
    • Effective sedation 10-20 minutes
    • Time to discharge (average) 90 minutes

Post sedation care

  • Observe for 1-2 hours until:
    • Conscious and responding appropriately
    • Nystagmus resolved
    • Able to walk unassisted (older children)
    • Vital signs are within normal limits
    • Respiratory status not compromised
    • Pain and discomfort addressed
  • No food or drink for 2 hours after discharge (risk of nausea and vomiting)
  • Supervise child closely for 24 hours (risk of ataxia and falls), no driving for older children
  • Give advice leaflet to parents/carer
  • Ensure that sedation documented on EPR and sign for ketamine in CD book and on EPR

COVID-19 (Paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome)

AKA: Paediatric Inflammatory Multi-system Syndrome – Temporally associated with SARS-CoV 2 

Although COVID-19 seems a benign disease in almost all children there are increasing evidence (however rare) of a “Paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome”. This is a RARE and newly emerging condition and there are many questions still e.g. It is currently unclear if it is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Case definition (RCPCH)

  1. A child presenting with persistent fever, inflammation (neutrophilia, elevated CRP and lymphopaenia) and evidence of single or multi-organ dysfunction (shock, cardiac, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal or neurological disorder). This may include children fulfilling full or partial criteria for Kawasaki disease. 
  2. Exclusion of any other microbial cause, including bacterial sepsis, staphylococcal or streptococcal shock syndromes, infections associated with myocarditis such as enterovirus (waiting for results of these investigations should not delay seeking expert advice).
  3. SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing may be positive or negative

Read more

Care of the Next Infant (CONI)

What is CONI?

Parents who have experienced a sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child often feel anxious when they have another baby. CONI is a programme working with local public healthcare providers to facilitate a service for bereaved parents to help with the anxieties around another baby.

Read more

Diabetic Hyperglycaemia (Kids)

Diabetic children sometimes attend ED with hyperglycaemia, but not in DKA (what should we do?)

Paeds have produced some advice to follow:

  1. Ketones over 0.6?
    • <0.6: Encourage fluids & food, may need an insulin correction
    • >0.6: ask Question 2
  2. Are there clinical features of DKA?
    • NO: Encourage fluids & food, decide Insulin correction, will need to be monitored
    • YES: Will need Paeds admission

0-12yrs WETFLAG


  • If particularly BiIG – go up 1-2 yrs
  • If particularly SMALL – go down 1-2 yr
  • Prepare ET Tubes 0.5mm bigger and smaller
  • Chid’s weight known – specific calculations can be found after tables.

Boys 0-14yrs

Tube 3.0/3.5mm3.5mm3.5mm4mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm5mm5mm5.5mm5.5mm6mm6mm6.5mm6.5mm6.5mm7.5mm8mmTube
Fluid - Trauma 35ml45ml65ml80ml100ml110ml120ml140ml160ml180ml210ml230ml250ml250ml250ml250ml250ml250mlFluid-Trauma
Lorazepam 0.4mg0.5mg0.7mg0.8mg1.0mg1.1mg1.2mg1.4mg1.6mg1.8mg2.1mg2.3mg2.5mg2.8mg3.1mg3.5mg4.0mg4.0mgLorazepam
Adrenaline 1:10'0000.4ml0.5ml0.7ml0.8ml1.0ml1.1ml1.2ml1.4ml1.6ml1.8ml2.1ml2.3ml2.5ml2.8ml3.1ml3.5ml4.3ml5.0mlAdrenaline 1:10'000
Glucose 10% (ml)7ml9ml13ml16ml19ml22ml24ml28ml32ml36ml42ml46ml50ml56ml62ml70ml86ml100mlGlucose 10%

Girls 0-14yrs

Tube 3.0/3.5mm3.5mm3.5mm4mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm5mm5mm5.5mm5.5mm6mm6mm6.5mm6.5mm6.5mm7.5mm8mmTube
Fluid - Trauma 35ml45ml60ml70ml90ml100ml120ml140ml160ml180ml200ml220ml250ml250ml250ml250ml250ml250mlFluid-Trauma
Lorazepam 0.4mg0.5mg0.6mg0.7mg0.9mg1.0mg1.2mg1.4mg1.6mg1.8mg2.0mg2.2mg2.5mg2.8mg3.2mg3.5mg4.0mg4.0mgLorazepam
Adrenaline 1:10'0000.4ml0.5ml0.6ml0.7ml0.9ml1.0ml1.2ml1.4ml1.6ml1.8ml2.0ml2.2ml2.5ml2.8ml3.2ml3.5ml4.3ml5.0mlAdrenaline 1:10'000
Glucose 10% (ml)7ml9ml12ml14ml18ml20ml24ml28ml32ml36ml40ml44ml50ml56ml64ml70ml86ml100mlGlucose 10%


  • Energy (J) [max 150J] =4 x Weight(kg)
  • Fluid Medical (ml) = 20 x Weight(kg)
  • Fluid Trauma (ml) = 10 x Weight(kg)
  • Lorazepam (mg) [max 4mg] = 0.1 x Weight(kg)
  • Adrenaline 1:10’000 (ml) [max 10ml] = 0.1 x Weight(kg)
  • Glucose 10% (ml) = 2 x Weight(kg)

Information from APLS Aide-Memoire