If an individual experiences an epileptic seizure, it can make a big difference if you know the appropriate measures to carry out. It is important to note that epilepsy involves disorders that affect the electrical activity of the brain. Most types of epilepsy are characterized by unpredictable seizures. On the other hand, not all seizures can trigger dramatic convulsions many associate with the condition.
What you need to know about seizures
A classic seizure involves loss of muscle control, twitching and loss of consciousness and this is called a generalized tonic-clonic seizure. Some seizures are less apparent and affect the emotions, sensation and behavior. Take note that not all seizures involve spasms, convulsions or loss of consciousness.
An individual must experience two or more unprovoked seizures 24 hours or more apart in order to be diagnosed as epilepsy. Individuals who have epilepsy might be aware of their condition. In most cases, medications are used to manage the symptoms or observing diet therapy. Even surgery or medical devices can be used in the treatment.
What to do during a seizure episode?
If an individual is experiencing a convulsive seizure, there are measures to carry out to avoid further injury. Participants registered in first aid classes will be instructed regarding the latest measures of recognizing and managing a seizure attack.
- Roll the individual on his/her side to prevent choking on saliva or vomit
- Provide a soft spot to cushion the head of the individual
- Loosen the collar to facilitate easy breathing
- You have to clear the airway where you might be required to hold the jaw gently and tilt the head back slightly to open up the airway.
- Do not try to restrain the individual unless failing to do so can lead to inevitable bodily injury especially in cases where the convulsion occurs in the edge of a swimming pool or top of a staircase.
- Avoid putting anything into the mouth since the individual can choke on foreign objects.
- Take away solid or sharp objects that are within close proximity to the individual.
- Note down how long the seizure lasts, symptoms and other observations during the attack.
- Always stay with the individual throughout the seizure and stay calm.
- Do not shake the individual or shout at him/her.
- If there are bystanders, ask them to stay back. The individual might be groggy, embarrassed or confused after a seizure episode.
When to seek medical care
Not all types require immediate medical care. In some cases, it is best to call for emergency assistance. It is best to seek emergency care for these circumstances:
- Seizure that occurs in the water
- Individual is diabetic or pregnant
- Seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes
- The individual does not regain consciousness after the seizure
- Individual has high fever
- Individual stops breathing after the attack
- Individual was injured during the seizure
- Another attack starts before the individual gains consciousness from a previous seizure episode
- First seizure experienced by the individual
Do not forget to check if the individual has a medical alert bracelet, identification card or any jewelry that indicates that he/she suffers from epilepsy.