Monday, May 9, 2011

First Aid For Seizures

Seeing a person have a seizure can be traumatic, and then again, some seizures look like typical behavior if the person having the seizure has another underlying developmental disorder.  I hope you never have to experience seeing someone seize.  However, being prepared makes all the difference.  Last week my article was "Do You Know What a Seizure Looks Like?"  Read through it and make yourself aware of what the different kinds of seizures look like.  My response to those who might ask "how do I know if it's really a seizure?" is to treat it as though it is, because if you suspect it is a seizure- it is likely that it is in fact- A SEIZURE. 
There are simple steps for Seizure First Aid for any kind of seizure:

  1. Make sure the person is in a safe area, if not, guide them gently to a safe place: away from objects, people, or danger.
  2. Do not hold them down.
  3. Do not place anything in their mouth.
  4. Reassure them and talk quietly.
  5. Time the seizure.
These additional steps apply to someone having a generalized seizure:
  1. Cushion their head.
  2. Lie them on their side.
  3. Look for medical ID
Reasons to call for an ambulance:

  1. A seizure that lasts longer than 5 minutes, or reoccuring seizures.
  2. No Epilepsy ID
  3. Slow to recover, confused or experiencing difficulty breathing
  4. Pregnancy or other medical condition
  5. Illness or Injury
There are many sites that give information, however there are posters from the Epilepsy Foundation that are very appropriate for the general population and are easy enough for children to even understand. 

There are some caregivers who are experienced to give emergency first aid medications to a patient who experiences prolonged seizures.  If you know someone who has Epilepsy and has breakthrough seizures, it is helpful for you to recieve training on administering DiaStat (rectal valium) if prescribed to the patient.

Our Caleb experienced a seizure at school one day, and before I could get to him, his teacher, whom I had trained in giving the DiaStat was able to administer it and it temporarily stopped his seizures.  There is a great deal of thanks I have to that teacher, who during a very difficult time for him, was able to help his seizure cease.  That alone is a blessing to a person experiencing a prolonged seizure.  Our Caleb continued to have breakthrough seizures that day, and was hospitalized.  However, many times, this procedure could stop a seizure all together to prevent a person from having to endure an ER visit. 

The overall goal if for persons with Epilepsy to have the best quality of life possible.  If you know first aid for seizures, you will be calm if ever faced with helping someone through a seizure.  You can be a blessing to another.

With Hope,

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