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Seizures

Seizures can be a major issue for residents and patients and can happen when there are unusual changes in the brain’s internal electrical activity. In some cases, seizures can cause convulsions in the body, life-threatening problems, and possibly a change in brain functioning.

Sometimes, there are symptoms before a seizure takes place; on the other hand, there may not be any symptoms at all.  Seizures generally include violent body shaking and a loss of control.

Before a seizure, a person may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • an uneasy feeling

  • dizziness

  • a change in vision

  • jerky movements of the arms and legs

Over-the-counter vitamin supplements, some medications, and consumption of alcohol can increase the chances of someone having a seizure. In addition, sudden changes in sleeping patterns may make a seizure more likely to happen.

A seizure can be scary and frightening to witness. Signs that a seizure is happening include

  • uncontrollable jerky movements or muscle spasms

  • drooling or frothing at the mouth

  • biting the tongue

  • sudden, rapid eye movements

  • loss of consciousness, which is followed by confusion

Make sure to remove any sharp objects or cover furniture edges that could hurt the person. Put a pillow or blanket under the person’s head to make him more comfortable and less likely to injure his head. Do not hold the person down or put anything in his mouth because it can make the seizure worse, but if possible, turn the person onto his side to prevent him from biting his tongue. Note the time the seizure started. If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, call Emergency Medical Services. Stay with the person until the seizure has fully stopped.

After the seizure ends, the person should not drink or eat anything until he can sit up and is fully conscious. Keep the person safe and comfortable until a doctor or nurse can come to check. You may ask the person where he is, who he is, and what day it is. Several minutes may pass before the person becomes fully alert and able to answer any questions.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners