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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

My 3 year old had a seizure this morning

(32 Posts)
Jemnot Mon 19-Apr-10 16:58:55

He was feverish all day yesterday and didn't want to eat anything. I managed to get him to swallow a little yoghurt and fruit juice and I thought I'd take him into an NHS walk-in centre if he was no better by the morning. I only take him to the GP for routine stuff as it takes about 3 days to get an appointment.

Anyway he was hot and sweaty and seemed disorientated and confused so I said we should take him to work with me (I work in the emergency dept at the hospital as a secretary).

Just as I was about to get him out of the door he collapsed and went limp. His eyes rolled to the back of his head and his body was twitching and he wasn't aware of anything around him. He was deeply, deeply unconscious with his eyes wide open and only the whites of his eyes were showing. It was horrible, even typing it makes me cry.

When we got to where I work I ran in with him and by this time he was vomiting yellow liquid all over the place but was still only semi-conscious.

When they checked him out they said he had an ear infection?

Do any of you have any experience with an ear infection causing vomiting? He's had these fits several times before but only when he gets a fever.

They've sent us home with antibiotics and we already have lots of liquid paracetamol and ibruprofen at home as we always keep stocked up with it due to his history of having seizures whenever he gets a high temperature.

The irony is that despite all the drama we actually didn't change our morning routine at all! We drive to the Emergency unit together every day but this time I went straight past my office and into the treatment area. My boss was lovely. I hated her seeing me crying and panicking and looking unprofessional but she was really kind.

He's sleeping now. Do you think I'm being complacent to accept that an ear infection could cause the vomiting? I don't want to regret that I didn't realise it might have been something else that wasn't picked up on?

Another irony is that I work with 5 Acute medicine consultants but I didn't get to speak to any of them because I didn't go into my office.

Also all of his cousins have got chickepox and one of them has a vomiting bug. He doesn't seem to have chickenpox but I wondered if he might have the vomiting bug and the ear infection at the same time and one caused the vomiting and the other caused the fever that lead to the seizure?

I'd be really grateful for any advice at all. I'm worried and don't want to 'miss something' that might be relevant. Please help me if you can think of anything at all?

thank you.

andiem Mon 19-Apr-10 17:02:02

Febrile convulsions are very common with ear infections. It is the most likely infection to cause one. The vomiting is probably associated with that and unless he vomits again they are most likely connected.
I hope that he feels better soon it is horrible when they fit and very frightening. smile

oopsandbabycoconut Mon 19-Apr-10 17:06:51

I had almost the exact thing with my DD (19mo) 2 weeks ago - she was fine in herself but a little lethargic and tired with a slight fever when suddenly she got very hot and had a convulsion - we called 999 and DD was taken to A&E then onto paeds where she was diagnosed with double ear infection. We had been at a wedding all day and apart from her being slightly more clingy and stroppy than normal you would never had guessed. They said it is very common in under 5s especially with ear infections.

motherbeyond Mon 19-Apr-10 17:08:15

oh,poor you.that sounds absoloutely terrifying.i'm not suprised you were crying and made me panicky just reading it!

i'm sorry i have no medical knowledge.can only offer a few words of comfort.

now he is sleeping make yourself a sweet tea,or better still a stiff drink.

try and relax now,you did all you were supposed to as his mother.
well done for acting so swiftly

i hope the antibiotics kick in soon and he feels much better by morning..poor thing

Jemnot Mon 19-Apr-10 17:10:07

Thanks andiem. You're certainly right about the ear-infections causing the fever that leads to the fit because that's exactly what happened the last time too. We didn't even realise he was unwell till he had a fit and then we were told that it was an ear infection.

It's the vomiting that unnerved me really, I've never heard of an ear infection causing vomiting. He said that the light was hurting his eyes (my heart went cold when he said that) but then I asked him to look up at the light and he did so easily without flinching. Then I made him put his chin on his chest and he did that easily too. Nobody checked him for a rash but even if they had, he has eczema at the moment and so it wouldn't be easy to spot.

But no apparent photophobia or neck tenderness. I mentioned all this to the doctor and they didn't seem concerned.

thanks again for getting back to me. I'm really desperate to hear impartial opinions from other people about this.

Jemnot Mon 19-Apr-10 17:15:50

Thanks motherbeyond too. I'm actually sitting here covered in vomit - I haven't even changed my clothes yet. He's whimpering in his sleep and I want to wait till he's sleeping more easily before I take a bath and change my clothes in case I have to run out the door with him quickly.

Jemnot Mon 19-Apr-10 18:57:35

He's become very sick in the last 10 minutes. We're taking him to the emergency dept now. Please wish us luck.

llynnnn Mon 19-Apr-10 19:01:44

oh no your poor ds, and you of course.

I dont have any advice but want to wish him a very speedy recovery

Horton Mon 19-Apr-10 19:18:27

Good luck. Just read this and really feel for you. I am wishing your son a really speedy recovery.

FabIsGoingToGetFit Mon 19-Apr-10 19:29:05

{{{Good luck}}}

I nannied for a child who had a FC and it was terrifying.

oopsandbabycoconut Mon 19-Apr-10 19:53:09

Good luck - just logged on to see how you were getting on.

acebaby Mon 19-Apr-10 20:00:06

hope your DS recovers quickly. It sounds like a terrifying experience for you. Bacterial ear infections often (in my extensive experience sad) cause vomiting.

wukter Mon 19-Apr-10 20:01:34

Good luck Jemnot.

andiem Mon 19-Apr-10 20:45:52

jemnot hoping all is well [[hugs]]

Jemnot Mon 19-Apr-10 22:20:49

thanks everyone. I'm massively relieved. He woke up screaming and vomiting and telling me that he had a 'big hurtsy in his head' in ds language a 'hurtsy' is a 'pain'. He was screaming like crazy and holding his head and vomiting.

I called his dad and we rushed him back to the hospital and the ear infection was worse and his temp was raised but that was about it. They said the head pain was probably caused by the sinus infection and sent us home with more painkillers. I'm shattered now but so relieved.

He now seems much better. Thanks again for all the good wishes. I'm hoping that that's all the drama over with now but we're going to keep a close eye on him tonight.

needsdirection Mon 19-Apr-10 22:31:00

Hello, poor you, so awful and scary. Last year my ds had a febrile seizure. He had vomited in the night and had a temperature; the next day his temperature went up and he had a fit. We called an ambulance and took him to hospital, where they didn't find anything much and said it was probably a virus. About five weeks later he had another seizure at nursery; they called an ambulance and we ended up at a different hospital where they said he had an ear infection.

I'm fairly sure the ear infection was the cause of the first one too (when he vomited) and the first hospital missed it. I remember at that time, he seemed to be not hearing properly. I thought he was just acting up and ignoring me, but he really couldn't hear much. I didn't suspect an ear infection as he'd never had one before and I thought they were always excrutiatingly painful.

Sorry this is so long! I just wanted to say yes, I think an ear infection can cause vomiting and febrile seizure, and to hope you are all ok and ds gets well again very soon.

llynnnn Tue 20-Apr-10 08:54:48

hope your ds is feeling better this morning and you had a good nights sleep

Jemnot Tue 20-Apr-10 22:26:28

Thanks everyone. He does seem a bit better today but he's still very irritable and subdued. He only wants to sleep and cuddle.

I went to work today and asked one of the consultants that I work with (they specialise in emergency/acute medicine) and he told me the same as you did, that ear infections do cause vomiting. Having had my first (and probably only) child at the age of 36 I'm so inexperienced in the practical aspects of childhood illnesses!

It's great to be around the more experienced people here and you're very kind to take the time out to wish us well and share your experiences and advice. Thank you everyone. smile

Jemnot Tue 20-Apr-10 22:30:01

I forgot to mention the hospital consultant that I spoke to (he has over 30 years experience in emergency medicine) told me that in his experience about 75% of the febrile seizures were caused by ear infections! I just thought I'd mention that as it seemed worth passing it on to other parents. smile

acebaby Wed 21-Apr-10 10:04:00

Really glad to hear your DS is feeling better. It is terrifying when they are ill, even when they don't have a seizure!

Jemnot Thu 22-Apr-10 18:04:09

Thanks. smile

Sorry to keep asking so many questions, but he has done nothing but sleep since he got back from hospital, he slept for 18 hours straight yesterday and after eating virtually nothing for the past few days he woke up for a couple of hours today and stuffed himself silly with banana's and vegetarian sausage rolls and immediately fell back asleep and now he's covered from head to toe in red spots! confused

His cousin's all have chickenpox though I thought the incubation period was shorter than this as they've all had their spots for over a week now? Still I suppose if they've all got chicken pox and now he has red spots all over him then he must have chickenpox after all?

He's not too bad in himself. He doesn't seem to be in any discomfort though and at least he is eating again. I think I might give NHS direct a ring in a bit and try to explain the sequence of events to them to help put my mind at rest a bit. Perhaps it is possible that he had an ear infection and then had chickenpox at the same time or maybe the chickenpox caused the earlier symptoms of seizures, vomiting, head pain and ear infection?

He's still sleeping, he went to nursery school today and it was almost empty because all of the other kids are off with chickenpox, he'd been home less than 10 minutes when I noticed a couple of red spots on his face and neck. When I undressed him he was covered in them! confused

lou031205 Thu 22-Apr-10 18:20:13

He went to nursery school today????? shock That is way off-beam IMO. A child who is ill enough to need hospital treatment for an ear infection is not well enough for nursery school.

Horton Thu 22-Apr-10 21:24:31

Sorry, but I agree with lou. I don't think you should be sending him to nursery and am slightly shocked that you thought that would be a good idea. Glad he is on the mend, though chicken pox does sound likely.

Jemnot Thu 22-Apr-10 22:10:13

No that's ok. I agree with both of you. I couldn't agree more. My dp said that ds was going to stay home with him.

I went to work but I was anxious all morning and when I rang to see how he was he said that he seemed 'better' and had gone to nursery. I couldn't concentrate by that point so I took the afternoon off and came home to check on him. I felt guilty about going to work in the first place too but I was panicking about when the rent is due next month as if I don't work then I don't get paid and the rent isn't going to pay itself.

lou031205 Thu 22-Apr-10 22:15:30

Ok, well that aside, I really hope he perks up soon. Lots of calamine lotion and mitts at night if he'll tolerate them, to avoid scratching. Children's paracetamol as and when necessary and lots of fluids. Don't worry so much about food smile

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