How to react to an epileptic seizure

There is no such thing as a single solution on how to help a patient with epileptic seizures, because the seizures differ by its manifestations and possible consequences. However, the seizures general refer to the “great seizure” (also called “grand mal” or “generalized tonic-clonic seizure”). That is the type of seizure that results in unconsciousness and spasms of the body. Muscle spasms have both a tonic and clonic phase. In the so-called “tonic phase” is where the sudden muscle stiffness appears, while the “clonic phase” is characterized by rhythmic muscular twitches. During seizures occurs salivation, changes in skin color, and the patient often bites tongue.

If you do want to help the person that is facing this type of attacks, here are some of the tips that you have to follow.

Do not panic

The seizures are always dramatic, but, in these situations, it is important to keep your cool and to do all what it takes to be the best help to a person that is having a seizure.

If call an ambulance for longer seizures

As soon as the seizure begins, it is necessary to look at the clock and measure its duration. Most seizures are completed in 2-3 minutes then it is not always necessary to immediately call a doctor. But in the case of longer lasting seizures, the urgent medical attention is necessary. Without the correct timing, it is very difficult to estimate the length of the seizure because in these situations, the time always seems to go slower.

Prevent injuries

This can best be achieved by placing a pillow the under head of a patient. But if this is not possible, under the head can be put any soft object, i.e.  Rolled piece of clothing, bags, jackets…

Place the patient on the tight

In the case of strong muscle contractions that will not always be easy. But the tight position is better option that a back position because tight position can maintain a clear airway and that position has much lower risk that any of the content of the oral cavity reaches the larynx or goes deeper into the lungs.

Do not try to put anything in the patient mouth

It is wrong to believe that placing objects in the mouth can prevent injuries of the tongue. Experience shows that such attempts may lead to additional injury to the tongue, teeth and cheeks, and should not ignore the risk that a foreign body may threaten a clear airway.

Do not attempt to stop the muscle contractions

In this way the attack cannot be interrupted, in the case of carelessness can lead to further injury of the patient.

Give the patient some space

If seizures occur in a public area where there are more people, explain to them that it was an epileptic seizure that will soon go away and ask them not to be in the vicinity.

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