Debunking stereotypes about epilepsy

2018-02-28 06:02

THE BASIC DOS AND DON’TS WHEN SOMEONE IS HAVING A SEIZURE:

DO:

• Stay calm, it’s only a seizure.

• Cushion the person’s head to avoid injury by placing anything soft under the head (e.g. a cushion or jacket).

• Time the duration of the seizure. It is likely to feel very long, but most seizures lasts between a few seconds and a few minutes. Seizures lasting longer than five or six minutes require medical attention.

• Try to remove glasses and loosen tight clothing (if possible) to avoid injury and ease breathing.

• Turn the person into the first aid recovery position to avoid choking.

• Stay with the person until he or she recovers fully and reassure him or her. Remember that the person is unlikely to know that they had a seizure.

• Provide information about the seizure once the person has recovered. Most people with epilepsy have a seizure diary to record information which is helpful to the medical team (which seldom sees a seizure) for treatment.

• Medical assistance is only required if (i) the seizure lasts longer than five or six minutes; and/or (ii) the person was injured during the seizure.

DO NOT:

• Panic.

• Move the person unless he or she is in immediate danger.

• Restrict the person as you cannot stop a seizure.

• Burn anything in front of the person’s nose or mouth.

• Put anything in the person’s mouth. This is an old wife’s tale and will lead to injury.

• Leave the person alone until he or she recovers fully.

• Give the person anything to eat or drink.

• Give the person any medication.

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