Dealing with someone who is having epileptic seizure and focal seizure may not be that hard. With the right method, that person might not end up being on a hospital bed.
There are times when we face unexpected circumstances like witnessing an epileptic seizure attack or a focal seizure attack. Not all seizures are alike. A seizure can be a single event due to an acute cause, such as medication. When a person has recurring seizures, this is known as epilepsy. Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder. The first two are stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
There are two major types of seizures: focal onset and generalized onset. Focal onset seizures start in one area and can spread across the brain. This causes mild or severe symptoms. Generalized seizures can start as focal seizures that spread to both sides of the brain. They also can occur as “generalized onset” seizures in which seizure activity starts simultaneously over both sides of the brain.
Epileptic patients make up 1% of the overall Malaysian population. With an estimated 230,000 diagnosed cases. However, the awareness circulating about seizures is a bit lacking in the country. Learning how to cope with seizure diagnosed patients can really help them. Especially when it is known that every 1 in 3 patients would have depression.
What to do when someone around you has an epileptic seizure attack? Knowing the basic first aid kit can help keep people with seizures safe:
- It is important to keep calm during the situation. Witnessing a seizure can be frightening especially to people who are not familiar with this.
- If the person is lying down or if they have food/liquid in their mouth, roll them onto their side. This is to avoid them from getting choked on their own saliva or the food/liquid
- Do not try to move them unless they are in a dangerous situation.
- Remove any object on or around them that can harm them during the process. Such as headphones, glasses, face masks, earphones, hats.
- Protect their head from bumping continuously on the hard ground by putting something soft under them.
- Time the seizure. Typically, normal epileptic seizure only takes less than 2 minutes.
- Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. Do not try to restrain their body from jerking. Let it be and just observe.
- Observe what is happening and what body parts are affected during the process.
- Monitor their breathing and skin color.
- Make sure to stay with them and reassure them until they are fully recovered.
How to deal with someone who is facing a focal seizure attack? You must be able to know when they are having the seizure. Focal seizure is when the patient would suddenly appear confused. Or show inappropriate and confusing behaviours. Like face twitching and pulling their shirt.
- Starting with checking for a response. Calling out for that person’s name would be one of the examples.
- If they are non-responsive, time the seizure.
- Protect them from any harm. Such as removing any objects on or around them that can be harmful. Do not restrain them.
- Stay with them and observe their behavior.
- That person might be tired once it ends. Gently reassure them until they have fully recovered.
You would need to call for 999 or ambulance if:
|The person is injured
There is food, fluid or vomit in their mouth
The seizure occurs in water
They have breathing difficulties after the jerking stops
Another seizure quickly follows
The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes
The person is non-responsive for more than 5 minutes after the seizure ends
You are in doubt about what to do
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