Anesthesia and seizures


Hi. I was partaking in a clinical experience recently and observed an operation on a child. Approximately five minutes after the doctor administered the anesthesia, the child began having seizures on the operating table. The seizures did not last long. I also noticed that the heart rate jump from around 82 beats a minute when he was awake and first brought in, to around 160 beats a minute once anesthesia began. The HR stayed elevated until about 30 minutes into the operation then finally leveled out at around 90 beats a minute. I asked the anesthesiologist about this and he told he it's normal for the HR to go up, but not normal for someone to have seizures once anesthesia begins. I know this is not a medical forum, perse, but does anyone know what could cause a seizure like this? The child was healthy with no known history of seizures and was having a routine operation done. Thank you! :typing


25 Posts

Specializes in None yet - looking for a job.

look up the type of drugs the anesthesiologist was using. many of them can cause an excited (muscular excitement) state when a younger patient is first induced. It is more common in younger patients from what I remember when looking up several medications for a case study. Sometimes they will have a similar reaction when waking up in the PACU after the surgery (sometimes taking out IVs inadvertently). A good drug reference should give you some information on this subject.


111 Posts

Specializes in OR.

did the anesthesiologist say "seizures"? what you saw may be muscle twitching related to a paralytic agent given as part of anesthesia. During certain types of procedures, it is very common for the pt to be given a paralytic agent.


501 Posts

As the limbic system disassociates from motor control, the patient will often exhibit jerking motions and involuntary movements.

Or so the gas-passers tell me.

My guess is that it wasn't a seizure.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

That is my understanding (or guess) as well.

This might be better served in the CRNA forum.

Mods? :D



784 Posts

Yes. That is what the doctor said. Seizures. I do know the meds he used and I will look them up. Thanks everyone!! :)

allnurses Guide

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

5,111 Posts

Specializes in Anesthesia.
Yes. That is what the doctor said. Seizures. I do know the meds he used and I will look them up. Thanks everyone!! :)

If you don't mind sharing, What meds did the MDA use, and do you know if the child had a history of seizures?

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