Seizures are abnormal movements or behavior due to disrupted or unusual electrical circuitry in the brain. Witnessing someone having a seizure can be a disturbing experience and challenging to know how to help if you are unfamiliar with first-responder procedures of the condition.
The spasmodic ailment results from low blood pressure, high fever, brain concussions, or epilepsy. There are procedures you can learn which transform you into a lifesaver when such an emergency occurs. First aid for seizures provides a great starting point to pick up the condition’s interventions. The more you know about the condition, the more you can effectively assist a victim.
Types of Seizures
There are two types of seizures to take note of—generalized and partial/focal. The generalized seizures encompass the whole brain when it starts and has four sub-forms. The first subtype is the tonic-clonic and the most popular. The seizure type makes the body go stiff, convulsing and involves the loss of breath for a period.
Absence seizures are the second subtype involving losing consciousness briefly. This type is more common with children. A third subform is febrile seizures and often occurs when a child has a high fever which cools off with time. Lastly, there is infantile spasms sub-type seizure mostly in children under four. The infant-based seizure is known to lead to epilepsy as the child matures.
Focal seizures start with a part of the brain and progress to other areas. The seizures split into two subforms distinguishable by the conscious state when having an attack. The first subtype is the focal onset aware seizure occurring when the victim is conscious. The second subform is the focal onset impaired awareness seizure that leads to loss of consciousness during an attack.
Symptoms of seizures vary depending on the type of seizure. There are specific symptoms common in most seizure types like spastic motions, convulsions, stiffening and loosening muscles, loss of consciousness, staring into space, confusion, sudden emotional state, sweating, nausea, involuntary mouth twitching, or sounds, rapid blinking, and falling.
Knowing the seizure symptoms helps you to identify them in a victim and provide the necessary help. The information will also help you to recognize harmful items in the environment that could lead to aggravated harm to the victim. It is critical to discern when or if to seek medical attention so that the person receives professional help if first-aid interventions fail.
Some symptoms suddenly show up and fade away as the victim recovers, while others linger. For unresponsive symptoms, it is always advisable to seek immediate medical attention to receive an advanced type of assistance.
Seizures occur when there is an interruption of the regular connections between nerve cells in a brain. The severity of the attack depends on the extent of interference with ordinary operations of the brain. There are many causes of seizures that trigger the abnormalities.
Some causes of the ailment include brain infections/tumors, cancer, stroke, fever, flashing lights, low blood sugar, head injury, alcohol/drug withdrawal, medication side effects, or electrolyte imbalance. Some seizures have no known causes and show up in children or adults.
Seeking medical treatment and guidance is essential to understand the cause of the seizures and help prevent or reduce their risks. Controlling the attacks may be challenging. However, there are some known interventions of epilepsy surgery for seizures resulting from a focal scar or other brain lesions, as explained by Hopkins Medicine.
Ways to Help Someone During a Seizure
Seizures occur without warning and can be as alarming to the victim as it is to the observer. If you witness someone having an attack, you must stay calm and offer support to the person. The victim may not respond, but knowing they are not alone can make a big difference. You should help them gently to the floor and place them on their side to open their airway.
You should also be conscious of the items in the physical environment because the flailing of the victim’s limbs can lead to injury. Remove any eyewear the patient has and loosen buttons or ties for easier breathing. If there is a blanket or a soft clothing item available, place them under their head to avoid hitting the floor.
You must avoid putting anything in the victim’s mouth until they are conscious and do not restrain them during the attack. It is imperative to call 9-1-1 if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes or if the situation seems severe and beyond your control.
Know the Seizure Basics, Save a Life
Understanding the basics of seizures goes a long way to assist a victim and certain instances, save a life. Some fatalities occur not because of the ailment but failure to observe particular precautionary interventions during a seizure. Knowing how to provide care for the patient also quickens the recovery process enabling everyone to resume their everyday lives.