According to a recent study, children who lose consciousness during events such as seizures could avoid the need to be sent to hospital if they are properly placed in the recovery position.
The research, led by the Paris Diderot University, aimed to closely examine the typical responses of caregivers to the loss of consciousness in children. The results are published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Part of the reason for this investigation was the fact that many potential caregivers – including parents and teachers – have a poor knowledge of the recovery position, the position in which an unconscious person should be ideally placed in order to protect the airway.
The study recruited a total of 553 children up to the age of 18, who had received a diagnosis of loss of consciousness, from 11 paediatric emergency departments across six European countries. The enrolment period was three months and data was obtained from parental interviews, hospital reports and clinical examinations.
Seizures were shown to be the most common reason for loss of consciousness in this group, accounting for 50.3% of all cases. Vasovagal syncope was the second most common factor, causing 22.4% of the blackouts.
Caregivers were shown to have put the child in the recovery position in 145 cases, or 26.2% of the total sample. Importantly, the recovery position was linked to a significant decrease in hospital admission rates.
The study concluded: “Our study demonstrates for the first time that the recovery position may reduce the admission rate of infants with loss of consciousness. Caregivers often perform inadequate manoeuvres when a child becomes unconscious. Campaigns aiming at increasing knowledge of the recovery position should be promoted.”
Posted by Bob Jones
Edited by Epilepsy Research UK
To find out what to do if someone has a seizure, and how to place someone correctly in the recovery position, please click here.
Click here for more articles about epilepsy in children.