What to do in the event of a seizure and what not to do (first aid)

Did you know that, every second, a series of electric "sparks" occur in our brain that allow neurons to communicate with each other? However, when those electric shocks are abnormally strong our body can lead to convulse.

A seizure consists of 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 capacity to regulate the function, and may eventually react without control. Therefore, depending on the brain area in which the seizure occurs, the symptoms will be more or less obvious (or alarming).

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

The truth is that the electrical activity of the abnormal brain can cause obvious alarming symptoms, or even no symptoms or signs at all. However, In most cases severe seizures tend to occur, among which there are violent shakings and loss of control. In any case, mild seizures can also be an indication of the existence of a significant medical problem.

What are the causes of seizures?

Both mild and severe seizures or alarming (by the symptoms they produce) can be caused by certain medical conditions, diseases or diseases, and also by certain habits, although the popularly known cause is the 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, as for example is the case of meningitis.
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Electric shock.
  • Very high blood pressure
  • Fever.
  • He drowned.
  • Hepatic or renal failure.
  • Stroke.
  • Low levels of glucose in the blood.
  • Brain injuries during childbirth.
  • Bites or stings of certain insects or animals.
  • Tumors
  • Strong blows to the skull (head trauma).
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
  • Drugs abuse. Drug abstinence syndrome.

What are the symptoms of seizures?

When a generalized seizure the affected person loses consciousness, falls immediately to the ground and suffers alarming and rapid shocks of all the muscles of the body.

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

On the other hand, foam may be released through the mouth, unusual noises (such as grunting), sudden changes in temperament, or loss of control of bladder or bowel function may occur.

Signs warning of seizure

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

  • Change of temperament
  • Changes in vision
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Sudden feeling of anxiety or fear.
  • Dizziness and nausea.

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

What to do in the face of a seizure?

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

  • Keep calm:try to calm down in the first place, so you can act properly. At first, especially if it is the first time you see one, it is normal to be alarmed and nervous, but try to act calmly as doing so hastily could even make the situation worse.
  • How to place the affected person:Carefully lean to the person on the floor, turning gently to the side to encourage both breathing and expulsion of saliva. Place something soft under your head, gently and gently, to prevent it from hitting.
  • Remove dangerous objects:all those that the person has around and that can be produced injuries or blows, such as hard objects or with sharp edges.
  • It remains:Stay away from your side and stay with the person until the seizure has passed and you are fully conscious.
  • What else to do?: loosen everything that can squeeze your neck, such as tight shirts, ties or handkerchiefs.If you have glasses, remove them carefully.

What not to do in a convulsion?

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

Avoid carrying out cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers, only doing it when the person does not breathe spontaneously, and only when the convulsive symptoms end. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.

First Aid in Seizures (May 2023)