PURPOSE: To summarize the epidemiology, morbidity, mortality, and costs of status epilepticus (SE) in the pediatric population.
METHOD: Review of the medical literature.
RESULTS: The overall incidence of pediatric SE is roughly 20 per 100,000 children per year, with overall mortality of 3%. Underlying etiology is the biggest risk factor for SE, with symptomatic (acute > remote) etiologies associated with worse outcomes. The most common cause of SE in children is febrile SE, though this entity occurs primarily in early childhood. After a first episode, the risk of recurrence is similar to the risk after a first unprovoked seizure (25-40%). SE is expensive, regularly costing more than $10,000 per episode and often more than $100,000 for refractory cases.
CONCLUSION: Status epilepticus is not an uncommon neurologic emergency and depending on the associated etiology can carry significant morbidity, mortality, and cost especially if treatment is not performed in a timely manner.