salaam convulsion

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salaam convulsion

Neurology A spasm of early infancy onset that occurs 20-100 times/day; SCs either disappear by age 2 or evolve into grand mal seizures with mental retardation. See Seizure disorder.


(kon-vul'shon) [L. convellere, to tear loose]
An occurrence or series of occurrences of involuntary muscular contractions and relaxations.


It is important for the person who observes the convulsion to record on the chart the following: time of onset, duration, whether the convulsion started in a certain area of the body or became generalized from the start, type of contractions, whether the patient became incontinent, and whether the convulsion caused the patient to be injured or strike the head. This information, in addition to its medicolegal importance, is valuable in diagnosis and in caring for the patient.


Common causes are epilepsy, eclampsia, meningitis, heat cramps, brain lesions, tetanus, uremia, hypoxemia, hypotension, and many poisonings. In children, the cause is often fever.


Febrile convulsions in children are usually controlled by suppressing fever with acetaminophen. In adults a specific diagnosis should be made. Diagnostic testing may include assessments of serum chemistries, oxygenation, alcohol levels, brain scanning, or lumbar puncture. The patient should be prevented from self-injury and from the aspiration of oral or gastrointestinal contents. If fever is present, antipyretic drugs may be helpful. Sedatives or anesthesia may be ordered by the physician. Aftercare includes rest in bed. See: febrile convulsion

clonic convulsion

A convulsion with intermittent contractions, the muscles being alternately contracted and relaxed.

febrile convulsion

A tonic-clonic seizure occurring in children between ages 6 months and 5 years who have no other signs of CNS infection or CNS abnormalities. About 3% to 5% of children will have this type of seizure, thought to be caused by a rapid rise in body temperature to 102.5°F (89°C) or higher. Boys are more susceptible than girls. The seizure rarely lasts more than 10 min, and repeat seizures during the same febrile episode are uncommon. The risk for a seizure during the next febrile illness is 30%, and for the episode after that 17%. A complete history and physical examination should include neurological appraisal to rule out other causes, such as epilepsy; acute lead encephalopathy; cerebral concussion, hemorrhage, or tumor; hypoglycemia; or poisoning with a convulsant drug. See: epilepsy


Appropriate therapy, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, should be instituted to reduce the fever. Oral diazepam (Valium) may be administered while fever is present to prevent seizure recurrence, though in many children the seizure is the first indication of fever. The measures to reduce the temperature must not be so vigorous as to cause hypothermia. Ice water baths and vigorous fanning with application of alcohol should not be used. The application of cool compresses with a gentle flow of air over the body is sufficient. A hypothermia blanket is also suitable. The efficacy and advisability of daily anticonvulsant drug therapy for children with recurrent febrile seizures have not been proven.


1. If the fever is due to influenza or varicella, salicylates should not be administered; their use could increase the risk for developing Reye's syndrome. 2. Prolonged treatment with phenobarbital depresses cognitive function in children and produces marked personality changes in about 15% of them.

hysterical convulsion

An obsolete term for a pseudoseizure.

mimetic convulsion

A facial muscle spasm.

puerperal convulsion

Spontaneous convulsuion in the postpartum woman.

salaam convulsion

Nodding spasm.

tetanic convulsion

A tonic convulsion with constant muscular contraction.

tonic convulsion

Convulsion in which the contractions are maintained for a time, as in tetany.

toxic convulsion

Convulsion due to a toxin on the nervous system.

uremic convulsion

Convulsion caused by the toxic effects of accumulated waste products and inorganic acids in renal failure.