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March 1989

Occult Bacteremia in Children With Simple Febrile Seizures

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Medical College of Wisconsin 1700 W Wells St Milwaukee, WI 53233

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(3):273. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150150023008

Sir.—The association of bacteremia and febrile seizures described by Chamberlain and Gorman1 in a recent AJDC article has been recognized at least since 1967, when two of three patients with pneumococcal bacteremia described by Belsey2 presented with seizures. Five of 11 children with occult pneumococcal bacteremia described in 19703 presented with seizures, and all had sterile cerebrospinal fluid. As Chamberlain and Gorman point out, obtaining blood cultures should always be considered for children with febrile seizures.

We should recall that children with pneumococcal bacteremia, with or without seizures, who have sterile cerebrospinal fluid initially may go on to develop meningitis, while receiving oral or even parenteral antibiotics.2

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