To assess the role of routine investigations in children presenting with their first febrile convulsion, the results of investigations carried out in 328 children over a 2-year period were reviewed. Lumber puncture was performed in 96% of cases and resulted in the detection of 4 cases of unsuspected meningitis, one of which was bacterial. 2 children had normal lumbar punctures on admission but developed meningococcal meningitis within 48 hours. Sugar, calcium, urea, and electrolyte estimations, and blood counts were commonly performed but were unhelpful. We suggest that lumbar puncture in those children presenting with their first febrile convulsion under the age of 18 months is the only useful routine investigation.
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