Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which currently affects over 400,000 Australians, and an estimated 50 million people worldwide.
If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with epilepsy, then it means that you (or they) have had more than one epileptic seizure already and you (or they) could have more in the future.
If you know somebody who has epilepsy, or even if you don’t, it’s highly worthwhile investing a little amount of your time in learning the first aid procedures which should be undertaken when confronted with somebody suffering from an epileptic seizure. With over 50 million people suffering from epilepsy worldwide, it’s a very real possibility that you might encounter somebody suffering a seizure during your lifetime, and having the first aid knowledge to help could make a great difference.
First Aid Treatment
If you ever encounter somebody having a seizure, these are the first aid steps which you should take to ensure minimal harm to the casualty:
- The first thing you need to do is remain calm. Panic will only make the situation worse.
- Your next priority should be removing any immediate danger from the casualty, this includes moving objects away from the casualty, blocking off stairs or places where the casualty could fall etc.
- Take a note of the time the seizure started, and monitor how long it lasts
? Make sure you stay with the casualty. Do not leave them by themselves
- Cushion their head with something soft if they have fallen to the ground
- Do not restrain the casualty and do not put anything in their mouth
Once you’ve taken the above steps you should then check the time again. If a convulsive (shaking) seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes then you should call for the emergency services.
- After the seizure has stopped you can then safely put the casualty into the recovery position and check that their breathing is returning to normal. You should gently check their mouth to ensure nothing is blocking their airway. If there appears to be any difficulty in breathing after the seizure has stopped then you should call for immediate medical attention.
- Make sure you stay with the casualty until they are fully recovered. If they have another seizure shortly after, without having time to fully recover from the first seizure, then you should call an ambulance.
Sometimes people will have what we know as a “Focal” or “Partial” seizure. These seizures don’t lead to the casualty being immobilized, but they are not aware of their surroundings or what they are doing. In a situation like this it’s important that you reassure the person and keep them away from any danger.
Jason has always had a soft spot for technology and gadgetry. When he is not busy with australiawidefirstaid.com.au, he spends his time giving first aid advice, and sharing his passion for technology with others.