Health and MedicineFirst aidWhat to do before a seizure and what not to do (first...

What to do before a seizure and what not to do (first aid)

Seizures can cause mild or alarming symptoms (such as rapid jerking and falling to the ground). Therefore, what is the first aid and what can we do before one?

Did you know that, every second, a series of electrical “sparks” occur in our brain that allow neurons to communicate with each other? However, when these electrical discharges are abnormally strong, our body can go into convulsions.

A seizure is an abnormal electrical discharge from the brain, which can affect a certain small focal area of ​​the brain, or be generalized and therefore affect the entire brain.

In this way, the area affected by the seizure tends to momentarily lose its ability to regulate function, eventually being able to react without control. Therefore, depending on the brain area in which the seizure occurs, the symptoms will be more or less evident (or alarming).

Let’s take an example. When a seizure affects the entire brain, all limbs may shake uncontrollably. However, if the seizure occurs in an area of ​​the brain that controls one leg, then that leg may repeatedly shake.

The truth is that abnormal electrical activity in the brain can cause obvious alarming symptoms, or even no symptoms or signs at all. However, in most cases, severe seizures tend to occur, including violent jerking and loss of control. In either case, mild seizures can still be indicative of a significant medical problem.

What are the causes of seizures?

Both mild and more serious or alarming seizures (because of the symptoms they produce) can be caused by certain medical conditions, pathologies or diseases, and also by certain habits, although the most popularly known cause is epilepsy. But it is not the only cause.

We can summarize below the main causes that could alter the brain and cause seizures:

  • Brain infections, such as meningitis.
  • Electrolyte imbalance.
  • Electric shock.
  • Very high blood pressure.
  • Fever.
  • He drowned.
  • Liver or kidney failure.
  • Stroke.
  • Low blood glucose levels.
  • Brain injuries during childbirth.
  • Bites or stung by certain insects or animals.
  • Tumors.
  • Strong blows to the skull (head injury).
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
  • Drugs abuse. Drug withdrawal syndrome.

What are the symptoms of seizures?

When a generalized convulsive crisis occurs, the affected person loses consciousness, immediately falls to the ground and suffers alarming and rapid jerks of all the muscles of the body.

These seizures also affect the eyes, since they tend to acquire abnormal positions or can become blank.

On the other hand, there may be foaming at the mouth, making unusual noises (such as grunting), sudden changes in temperament, or loss of control of bladder or bowel function.

Warning signs of seizure

Sometimes there may be warning signs before the seizure appears. We can pay special attention to any of the following symptoms:

  • Temperament change.
  • Changes in vision.
  • Stomach upset
  • Sudden feeling of anxiety or fear.
  • Dizziness and nausea.

In many cases the seizure lasts less than 5 minutes, but in some cases it can last up to 15 minutes. In any case, even if it lasts only a few seconds, it is essential to always consult a doctor.

What to do in the event of a seizure?

One person can be a tremendous help to another who is having a seizure. You can follow the following guidelines and basic tips:

  • Stay calm:  try to calm down first, so you can act accordingly. At first, especially if it is the first time you see one, it is normal for you to be alarmed and nervous, but try to act calmly since doing so in a rush could even make the situation worse.
  • How to position the affected person:  carefully lay the person on the floor, gently turning them to one side to promote both breathing and saliva expulsion. Place something soft under his head, carefully and gently, to prevent him from hitting himself.
  • Remove dangerous objects:  all those that the person has around and that could cause injuries or blows, such as hard or sharp objects.
  • Stay:  Stay quietly by their side and stay with the person until the seizure has passed and they are fully conscious.
  • What else to do? Loosen anything that could oppress the neck, such as tight shirts, ties or handkerchiefs. If you have glasses, remove them carefully.

What not to do in the event of a seizure?

Although in the case of epilepsy there is a belief that we should put a piece of clothing in the mouth of the affected person to avoid damaging their teeth and swallowing their mouth, in reality it is a complete mistake. That is, it is not recommended to put something in the mouth. Did you know that it is enough to place it in a lateral position?

Avoid carrying out cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers, only doing so when the person is not breathing spontaneously, and only when the convulsive condition ends.


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