Febrile Seizure Team-based Learning
This modified team-based learning (mTBL) is designed for junior and senior emergency medicine and pediatric residents.
Febrile seizures are the most common cause of seizures in children under 5 years old and are frequently evaluated in the emergency department.1,2 Febrile seizures can be frightening for parents to witness and often necessitate extensive parental reassurance and education by the emergency medicine (EM) provider. Most febrile seizures are brief, do not require a broad workup, and have a benign prognosis. With introduction of conjugate vaccines for Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) and Streptococcus pneumoniae in the United States in 1987 and 2000 respectively, the incidence of bacterial meningitis is low, but still present.3-7 The most recent American Academy of Pediatrics practice guidelines no longer recommend routine lumbar puncture on children presenting with simple febrile seizures.2 A review of the current literature shows that bacterial meningitis in children after a complex febrile seizure is unexpected when the clinical examination is not suggestive of meningitis or encephalitis.5-8 The goal of this mTBL is for residents to feel comfortable counseling parents about their child currently in the emergency department and the future risk of recurrence. The second goal is for residents to identify which patients presenting with fever and a seizure do require workup beyond simply identifying the source of the fever.
By the end of this educational session, the learner will: 1) list the characteristics of a simple febrile seizure; 2) discuss the management of a child with a simple vs. complex febrile seizure; 3) discuss the risk factors that correlate with an increased risk of a subsequent febrile seizure; 4) determine when a lumbar puncture should be considered in a febrile child with a seizure; 5) identify when to give anti-epileptics and construct an algorithm for their use; 6) discuss with parents, provide education and return precautions.
This didactic session is a mTBL. The classic learner responsible content (LRC) has been omitted and a short PowerPoint presentation is given to start the session before the individual and group readiness assessment tests.
A post-TBL survey was given to each participant. A Likert scale was used to assess each participant’s assessment for the learning session in the following categories: overall, context, quality, and speaker feedback. They were also given fields to enter ways in which they would improve their practice after this learning exercise and suggestions they had for improving the current educational opportunity.
In the pilot session of this mTBL, 4 out of 11 participants (EM residents and pediatric emergency medicine [PEM] fellows) completed the post-TBL survey. Overall, this session was rated as “outstanding” (Likert 5/5) by 1 and “excellent” (Likert 4/5) by 3 for a weighted average of 4.25. All participants completing the survey found the activity “highly relevant,” “very engaging,” and wanted to repeat the activity in the future. Negative feedback consisted of wanting a video of a child having a seizure to be played and having a more interactive PowerPoint portion of the session like the interaction in the readiness assessment tests and group application exercise.
Overall the content was effective as evidenced by the list of ways residents said they would improve their practice on the post-TBL survey. In the future, I would extend the session from 60 minutes to 90 minutes to allow for more time for the group application exercise and discussion of answers. I found this to be an enjoyable, highly interactive experience with high engagement of the residents during the session.
Simple febrile seizures, complex febrile seizures, seizure with fever, meningitis, lumbar puncture, status epilepticus.