It can be absolutely traumatizing when someone in front of you collapses due to an epileptic seizure. At that time going blank is not an option because quick first aid for a seizure can make a whole lot of difference.
Majorly, it is seen that people tend to follow things like blowing air in the mouth, pumping the person’s chest, splashing water, or in some cases making the affected person smell a sock. But according to experts, none of these is an efficient way to deal with a person who is having a seizure.
That’s why today we’ve got Dr Chandranath Tiwari, neurosurgeon Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai, to be our guiding light and make us understand what an epileptic seizure is and how to respond if you see someone collapsing due to an attack.
An epileptic seizure is a neurological disorder
If we talk in layman terms then this disorder hampers the electrical activity in the brain. When these signals distort it causes seizure attacks which at times lead to loss of awareness and unconsciousness.
“The common terminology is called fits. But when your body seizes during a fit then it turns into seizures. A person should have a series of seizures to call out to be an epileptic,” says Dr Tiwari.
A seizure is the most common symptom of epilepsy but a single seizure doesn’t mean that you have epilepsy. There have to be at least two unprovoked seizures to detect that.
Here is the first-aid-guide for seizure
Dr Tiwari recommends that before helping out someone you yourself need to be calm and compose so that you can handle the situation well. After that he recommends you to follow these seven steps:
1. First of all, get the person to a safer area to prevent any further injury. He says, “In case of partial seizure where the person’s eyes are fluttering, make the person sit comfortably.”
2. In case the person is lying on the floor then roll him/her on one side. This prevents choking in case there is any secretion from his/her mouth.
3. Don’t make a huddle around the person who is having a seizure attack. If there are people standing nearby ask them to make space and not cover the person. Ensure that there is a proper airway so that the person can breathe free. Take the person to an open place if required.
4. Don’t put anything in the mouth of a person. You are not required to put any medicine, no water, or spoon according to Dr Tiwari. “Don’t try to give CPR or cardiac thumping as you might block the respiration process further,” he says.
5. Loosen their clothes. Open collar button, the button of their sleeves, removes their shoes, tie, etc. so that they can ease out.
6. Don’t shake or move the person vehemently.
7. Look for the pump as people with this disorder carry breathing pumps. Read the instructions properly and use them accordingly.
“Mostly, seizures don’t last for really long. But in case the person is not becoming conscious then you must call for help. Otherwise, there are chances that the person might have a series of seizures which is not a good sign. You should also have the emergency number 102 on your speed dial,” Dr Tiwari concludes.