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Epilepsy Behav. 2014 Feb;31:172-5. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.12.008. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

Variables associated with emergency department and/or unplanned hospital utilization for children with epilepsy.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Neurology E533, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, OH 43205, USA; Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Electronic address:


In the United States, approximately one million people are evaluated annually in an emergency department (ED) for the diagnosis of a seizure or epilepsy. The highest percentages of these patients are less than five years of age. No studies have been performed on assessing potential variables associated with recurrent ED visits and/or unplanned hospitalizations for children with epilepsy. Institutional review board approval from Nationwide Children's Hospital was obtained prior to study initiation. An accountable care organization (ACO), Partner for Kids (PFK), database was searched for patients with the highest and the lowest number of ED visits and/or unplanned hospitalizations from 2007 through 2011 using ICD-9 codes of 345.xx and 780.39. The patients were stratified into a high and a low utilizer group. The total number of visits and their associated health care costs were noted for each patient. In total, 120 patients were included for review. Information on the total number of no-shows to outpatient neurology clinic visits and telephone calls to neurology triage nursing was noted. A chart review was performed by a pediatric epileptologist to determine if each individual patient was an appropriate candidate for an emergency seizure treatment. The dose of emergency seizure medication was cross-checked to the patient's actual dose during the time of ED or hospital presentation to determine if the dose given was high, low, or accurate based on dosing recommendations. Multivariable logistic regression was used to test the effects of factors. When controlling for other factors, patients who were given an incorrect or no emergency seizure dosing had a high probability of having multiple ED visits/unplanned hospitalizations compared with patients who were given correct dosing (odds ratio=11.28, 95% CI of odds ratio=(2.42, 52.63), p value<0.01 (p=0.0021)). Using a similar model, patients who experienced a higher number of no-shows to clinic visits had a higher probability of having multiple ED visits/unplanned hospitalizations (odds ratio=5.73 per 1 more number of no-show, 95% CI of odds ratio=(1.78, 18.44), p value<0.01 (p=0.0034)). Future studies are planned to target these risk factors with the goal of decreased ED and/or hospital utilization for children with epilepsy.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Children; Emergency department; Epilepsy; Variables

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