Do you work with one of 250,000 Australians who have epilepsy? What would you do if they had an epileptic seizure?
There are two types of epileptic seizure: a tonic-clonic or convulsive seizure is the involuntary stiffening and jerking of muscles, and possible loss of consciousness. An imparied awareness seizure causes confusion, disorientation or unresponsiveness. Both are caused by a sudden uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. If a person has recurring seizures it is diagnosed as epilepsy.
In the event of a convulsive seizure, the most important role of the bystander is to remain calm. Don’t restrain the patient or place anything in their mouth, but time the seizure if possible. If they are on a hard surface, place a pillow or clothing under the patient’s head, or support their head if they are in a wheelchair. Move any dangerous items like electrical cords, water or heavy objects out of the way. Once the seizure has finished, place the patient in the recovery position, monitor their airways, loosen any tight clothing and place a blanket over them if necessary. Reassure and stay with the patient until they have fully recovered or until assistance has arrived; they may feel disorientated or embarrassed and your reassurance can help them to relax and recover.
Call Triple Zero (000) or mobile 112 for an ambulance if:
- You don’t know the patient
- There is no epilepsy management plan
- The seizure has occurred in water
- The patient is pregnant, diabetic or seriously injured
- The convulsions or unconsciousness last more than 5 minutes
- Another seizure begins
- Their impaired awareness lasts more than 10 minutes.
Thursday, March 26th is Purple Day. So wear your best purple outfit to show you support for people who live with Epilepsy. For more information see the Purple Day website.