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Overview Of A Seizure
- A seizure or convulsion can happen at any age and is caused by irregular electrical activity in the brain producing unmanageable muscular activity, resulting in unconsciousness.
- There are several kinds of convulsions, with some being fairly mild and others are more harsh and prolonged.
- A full-blown epileptic seizure consists of aggressive jerking of the limbs, contacting of the face, and frothing at the mouth when the saliva is blown through gritted teeth.
- The seizure can last for a several minutes and the casualty might require several hours in order to fully recover.
Symptoms And Signs
- Jerking of the limbs and face;
- Frothing at the mouth;
- Becoming unconscious;
- Unable to control bladder;
- Lips and skin turn blue/purple; and
- Flushed and dehydrated skin may occur in a child having a convulsion.
How You Can Help
- Shield the casualty from harm
- Inspect the immediate region for risks and eliminate them if possible. Move furniture out the casualty’s way, but avoid burning yourself when moving cooking equipment or electrical appliances.
- If the casualty is near to a wall or solid furniture, pad the space with clothes or cushions to prevent further harm.
- DO NOT move or attempt to control the casualty’s movements as this might result in a broken bone.
- Control the seizures
- Wait with the casualty until the convulsion stops.
- If in a public place, keep onlookers away from the casualty and let them know that the seizure will stop soon.
- If the seizure doesn’t seem to stop after 5 minutes – phone for an ambulance immediately.
- What to do after a seizure
- As soon as the seizure stops, swiftly roll the unconscious casualty onto their side and check and clear the airway.
- Cover up the casualty lightly with a blanket. Look to see that regular breathing has resumed.
- Let the casualty sleep until completely recovered, but make sure for a response every couple of minutes.
- If the casualty does not get up within 10 minutes, is not breathing properly or it is their first convulsion – phone for an ambulance.
- Aftercare advice
- Look for a medical bracelet stating that the person is epileptic.
- Look for any injuries and apply first aid.
- Assure the casualty when they are fully conscious.
- Advise the casualty not to drive. Try to organize for somebody to be with the casualty until they arrive at home.
- Inform the casualty to phone their doctor to report the convulsion.
- If the casualty is known to have epileptic convulsions, there is no need for medical assistance unless the convulsion carried on for more than 5 minutes.
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