Convulsion evokes a lot of fear in mothers and caregivers whenever it occurs. They even think that their child is dying. Many interventions are often carried out because of anxiety and limited knowledge. The aim of this study is to examine the interventions instituted by caregivers for children with convulsions before presentation in the hospital for treatment. We prospectively studied all the 276 children that presented to the emergency room with convulsion over a period of seven months and the care administered at home before presenting in the hospital was noted. One hundred and nine (39.5%) of the children had water poured on them during convulsion. Substances administered orally were; salt 32 (11.6%), onions 14 (5.1%), palm oil 3 (1.1%) and herbal concoctions 13 (4.7%), of which two contained cow urine. Metal spoons were used as mouth gag in 41 (14.9%) of subjects while 29 (10.5%) children had intramuscular (IM) injections given by health workers at home (eight) in various health centres (15) and hospitals (6). Other interventions were scarifications and drinking of their mothers’ urine. While 40 (14.5%) children had more than one treatment given to them before their arrival, 99 (35.9%) had no treatment given before their arrival. Caregivers continue to carry out various interventions at home for convulsions in children. Majority of the interventions are not beneficial while some are harmful. There is, therefore, need to continue to educate caregivers on the appropriate prehospital interventions of convulsions in children before presenting in the hospital.
Key words: Convulsion, pre-hospital interventions.
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