First Aid Myths – Seizures

Part of learning first aid is clarifying myths and learning the proper methods of treating First Aid situations. After teaching first aid for several years I have heard many stories, wife tails and myths. I have heard significant amounts of myths when teaching candidates about Seizures. Placing something into a victims mouth or throwing them into a pool are myths I’ve heard for treating seizures. Myths also include the notion that seizures are caused only by being epileptic (a medical condition).

To clarify, seizures are not only caused by epilepsy. Epilepsy is one of over a dozen probable and likely causes of seizures. Seizure’s can also be caused by high fever’s, head trauma, swelling in the brain, strokes and low blood sugar. Furthermore, seizure do not have to involve significant and violent thrashing of the body. They can be what’s called a petite mal, where an extremity may be having a seizure. Furthermore, they are usually tamer than the usual embellished thrashing that simulated victims portray.

Treatment of a seizure is usually simple, however they can be life threatening with many complications. Get the victim on the floor, if possible, and protect the head (ex: place a towel underneath the victims head). DO NOT put anything in the victims mouth. This can become a choking hazard or cause more complications. Call 911 and monitor vitals. When the victim comes to, reassure them, they will have no idea what just happened or where they are. It could take an hour or longer for them to become fully conscious and aware. To learn more about seizures and how to treat them, take a Standard First Aid Course. Become prepared by being trained!

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