Seizures start in and affect a specific part of the brain- either a very small area or a large area. What happens during a seizure is solely determined by which part of the brain is affected and what that part of the brain is responsible for the seizure.
Epileptic fits and seizures are broadly classified into two main types- focal seizures and generalized seizures.
During focal seizures, a person is usually aware of the seizure and knows what is happening. It could range from a twitching muscle to a sudden surge of emotion, like happiness, joy or fear. In a generalized seizure, however, both sides of the brain are affected and more often than not, these seizures occur suddenly. The person loses his consciousness and doesn’t recall the seizure later.
The first aid given for the seizures usually depends on the type of seizure. Broadly speaking though, the following assistance should be provided to the victim in case of a seizure:
– Witnessing a person get a seizure is a scary experience. You need to first stay calm so that you can help the person. Do not raise a hue and cry. Keep your cool.
– Make sure that people don’t gather around, give the victim ample place to breathe.
– Do not restrain the person from shaking by holding them down. Let the seizure happen.
– Gently move them away if they are at a dangerous place, like in the middle of the road, heavy machinery, near cliffs or valleys or near sharp objects.
– As far as possible, move all the objects like furniture away from their vicinity so they don’t hurt themselves.
– Put something soft under the victim’s head to keep it from hitting the ground. If nothing is available, cup your hands below their head.
– Do not put anything in their mouth, this may hurt them. Most people believe that people can swallow their tongues during a seizure. This is a myth. It is impossible to swallow your tongue.
When the seizure has passed and the person stops shaking;
– Roll them to one side in the recovery position.
– If breathing is noisy or disturbed, gently open the mouth to check if anything is blocking the airway.
– People are generally lost and confused after a seizure. It is best to calm them down and reassure them that they are okay.
If the seizure lasts for more than five minutes, it is important that you get medical help. Also, if one fit is followed by another one immediately, get medical assistance.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.