Watching someone experience a seizure can be a frightening thing. Also, such episodes, medically known as epilepsy, are not uncommon as 50 million people worldwide battle it. So, is there something that you can do to provide relief to someone going through a seizure? Yes! You can actually act as the first responder and prevent further damage.
In order to do that, you should be aware of what exactly epilepsy means, its symptoms, and types. Let’s get started.
Epilepsy — definition, symptoms, and types
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder where the person experiences recurrent seizures varying from mild jerks to severe convulsions. In half the cases, the main reason for occurrence established is a lack of oxygen supply to the brain. The other reasons that can be held responsible for these convulsions are a brain injury, an infection, a tumor, or other genetic reasons.
These seizures vary from person to person, however, certain common signs can be found in every patient. They are:
- Temporary confusion
- Staring spell
- Uncontrollable jerking of arms and legs
- Loss of consciousness or awareness
- Experiencing fear, anxiety, or deja vu
Categorization of seizures
There are two categories of seizures, depending on the level of involvement of the brain:
- Focal seizures — these affect only a part of the brain. There are two broad types:
- Seizures without loss of consciousness that alter the person’s emotions or affect their way of looking at things, how they smell, feel, or taste.
- Seizures with impaired awareness also known as complex partial seizures that include staring spells with repetitive movements like rubbing of hands, walking in circles, chewing, or swallowing.
2. Generalized seizures — involve the entire brain and can be further classified into:
- Absence seizures occur generally in kids and involve staring into space, indulging in subtle movements, and can also result in loss of awareness.
- Tonic seizures are responsible for muscle stiffness in the back, arms, and legs resulting in falls.
- Atonic seizures, also known as drop seizures cause loss of muscle control resulting in sudden collapse.
- Clonic seizures are characterized by rhythmic or repeated jerking of the neck, face, and arms.
- Myoclonic seizures are responsible for sudden and brief jerks in the arms or legs.
- Tonic-clonic seizures are severe in nature causing abrupt loss of consciousness accompanied by body stiffness, loss of bladder control, and sometimes biting of the tongue.
Tips to prevent further damage
Well, almost every kind of seizure has a serious fallout. In order to save your loved ones from further harm, we have listed a sequence of actions that you can undertake before professionals take over.
- To prevent the person from choking, roll him/her over onto their side
- Provide a cushion for the person’s head
- To make breathing easy, loosen the collar of the person
- Grip the jaw gently and tilt the person’s head slightly backwards. This will allow a more thorough and clear airway
- Avoid restraining the person. That should only happen if the convulsions can lead to bodily harm
- Never put anything in the mouth of the person. It is an absolute myth that people with seizures choke on their own tongue. They might choke on foreign objects that include water and medication
- Avoid shaking the person. That is not helpful in any way. Also, don’t shout. Stay calm.
- Make sure there are no sharp or pointed objects near the person
- Don’t forget to note how long the seizure lasts and its symptoms. That information will prove crucial for the professionals who will take over after your first aid
- Don’t leave the person alone. Stay by their side till the seizure ends
- If the seizure occurs in a public place, ask the bystanders to give the person space as he/she will be disoriented, tired, irritated, even embarrassed
Every seizure cannot be dealt with using the above-mentioned points. There will be situations when you will need professional help especially when the affected person has a prior ailment. So, don’t waste time in calling for help if you are facing the below-listed circumstances:
- The person is pregnant or diabetic
- The seizure occurred in water
- The episode lasts for more than 5 minutes
- There is no sign of consciousness after the seizure is over
- The afflicted is not breathing once the seizure stops
- There are signs of high fever
- Before regaining consciousness, another seizure begins
- The person endures an injury during the episode
- If this, according to your knowledge, is the first-ever episode the person has had
If these steps are followed in letter and spirit, it can save the person from enduring a lot of pain as well as stress. Likewise, epilepsy, as a whole, can be controlled, managed, and mitigated too by Stem Cell Therapy — a non-surgical procedure where stem cells, which have the capacity to regenerate, replace the damaged cells in the body.
Here is the best part. Stem Cell Therapy in Bangalore is available at Plexus, a Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre, that has been declared the best by many institutions more than once. In order to avail of Stem Cell Therapy in Bangalore, Plexus is the place to be.