What To Do If Someone Has A Seizure – First Aid Training

What To Do If Someone Has A Seizure - First Aid TrainingA seizure occurs when there is abnormal electrical activities in the brain. Seizures can make a person pass out, move oddly or behave in a strange manner. In most cases, seizures only last a few minutes, or even a few seconds. Epilepsy is a medical condition that causes a person to have seizures repeatedly. Just because a person has a seizure, doesn’t mean they have a diagnosis of epilepsy. Other problems like blood sugar levels that are lower than normal or an infection can cause a seizure. Anxiety and fainting spells can look like a little like a seizure, but they are not the same.

What are the common symptoms of seizures?

There are different types of seizures, and each can cause different symptoms. A person who has “grand mal” seizures may get very stiff and their body may jerk. Other types of seizures are not as dramatic. For example, some people will experience shaking in just one arm, or in just part of their face. Some may stop and stare off into space for a little bit.

Do I need to see a medical professional if I had a seizure?

If you have never had a seizure before, and you have one, it’s important to call 911. Let an ambulance take you to the hospital since a seizure can tell you there is something going wrong with your brain.

How will the doctor treat a seizure?

The doctor will choose a treatment for seizures depending on what the cause is. If it was caused by an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed to help rid the body of the infection. If you are having repeated seizures because you have epilepsy, you may need an “anti-convulsant” or medication that helps control seizures. In some cases, several medications may be tried until finding one that works effectively. Seizures are often difficult to control. However, working with a medical professional you should be able to find a treatment option that works.

Most anti-seizure medications have side effects associated with their use. They might make a person clumsier, or feel tired. They may also cause other problems. If the side effects are bothersome, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your doctor. They will work with you to help you find another medication or a different dose that will cause fewer problems. For most people, the side effects are mild, but there can be a couple of rare side effects that can be serious.

  • Anti-seizure medications can cause an increase in suicidal thoughts, or make a person want to kill themselves. If you are taking anti-seizure medications, and experience depression or think about harming yourself, talk to your doctor right away.
  • In some people, anti-seizure medications can cause a serious skin rash. It’s a very slim chance this will occur, but it is a serious side effect. Talk to your prescribing physician immediately if you develop a new rash while taking anti-seizure medications.

What happens if anti-seizure medications don’t work for me?

If you have tried several different medications and are still having seizures, there are still some other options. In some cases, the part of the brain that is causing the seizures can be removed. Sometimes seizures are controlled by a device implanted in the chest. It’s important that you Do Not Drive until you get seizures under control. Laws regarding this are different depending on where you live, but be sure to ask your doctor about when it is safe to drive. There are also other safety measures to take if you do not have seizures under control. For instance, don’t swim without other people around so they can help if you do have a seizure. Also avoid participating in activities that can result in a fall from a height.

Can I reduce the chances that I have more seizures?

There are a few things you can do to help reduce the chances of having more seizures including:

  • Take all medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor including the right dose at the right times
  • Explain any side effects you experience to your doctor, so the two of you can find a medication that works best for you.
  • Keep your prescription filled, and do not let it run out. Stopping your anti-seizure medications suddenly can cause seizures.
  • Ask your doctor about taking any other medications if you are on anti-seizure medications. Anti-seizure medications can interact with both non-prescription and prescription medicines. They can also interact adversely with herbal medicines. Mixing medications can increase the side effects, or keep them from being as effective.
  • Do not consume alcohol while taking anti-seizure medications. Alcohol can increase the chances you’ll have more seizures. It can also affect the way your medications work and increase the side effects caused by anti-seizure medications.

What should family and friends do if they see you having a seizure?

It’s important to talk to your doctor about what others can do if they see you have a seizure. People often have seizures and do not require medical attention. However, if your seizure lasts longer than five minutes, or if you are not responsive, or don’t wake up after a seizure, you need immediate medical attention. Friends or family members should call 911 and request an ambulance. No one should put anything in your mouth if you are having a seizure. They should protect you from banging up against hard surfaces.

What if I want to have a baby?

If you are taking anti-seizure medications, discuss your desire to have a baby with your doctor. Some medications used to manage seizures can cause harm to unborn babies. The doctor can switch your medications for you so you can get pregnant and keep you and your baby safe.

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