Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can affect anyone at any age. It’s characterized by recurring and unpredictable seizures. Some people are born with it – others experience it after a traumatic brain injury, stroke or brain tumor. Sometimes, doctors don’t know what causes it.
There are three major groups of seizures – general onset, focal onset and unknown onset. Symptoms vary and can include staring spells, fluttering eyes, loss of consciousness, and potentially dangerous convulsions and uncontrollable stiffening.
Watching a friend or loved one experience a seizure can be intimidating and create a feeling of helplessness. Staring spells don’t necessarily need any intervention, but severe muscle jerking requires action. It’s important to be prepared so you can respond swiftly and safely.
Dr. Aaron Farrow with Mercy Clinic Neurology has five things you need know about “Seizure First Aid.”
Some people with epilepsy have rescue medications that can be given during a seizure. Ask your friend or loved one if they have medication, where they keep it and when to use it.
After a seizure, your friend or loved one may feel “out of it” for about an hour, so keep a close eye on them. If they aren’t back to normal or “baseline” after an hour, call 911. Or if they have a seizure, the seizure is over, and they have another seizure, call 911.
Encourage your friend to talk to their doctor after a seizure. The doctor can adjust medications to help avoid more seizures in the future.
Dr. Aaron Farrow is a neurologist practicing at Mercy Clinic Neurology in Oklahoma City. Call 405-302-2661 to schedule an appointment.
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.