What do you do when you someone collapse in front of you? The first thing that would come to your mind is to give first aid? But who knows the right way to provide first aid? Knowledge of first aid is something that should not be only limited to the doctor but should be known to the general public too. First aid is the primary care that one gives to a patient who has suddenly collapsed and may take a while to reach to a doctor. One of the most common disorders that require first aid are seizures, which is a sudden disturbance in the brain cells, leading to changes in behaviour, unexpected movements and unconsciousness. A seizure can range in severity and has many types too. In general cases, a seizure may last up to 2 minutes. If it persists for more than 5 minutes, one should immediately contact a doctor while giving the necessary first aid to avoid sudden deaths. Onlymyhealth got in touch with Dr Dilish Malik (Retd Gp Cpt), MBBS, MD (Aerospace Medicine) to understand the right way of giving first aid to a seizure patient.
Also Read: Everything you need to know about Epilepsy
First one needs to understand what is a convulsion. In case of a convulsion, there is rapid contraction and relaxation in body muscles. This would lead to uncontrolled and unregistered actions, even leading to unconsciousness. Convulsion is simply a synonym for seizure. These symptoms of a seizure should be known to understand the right time to give the first aid:
- A state of sudden confusion
- A spell of staring
- Uncontrolled movements in the body, including arms and legs
- Unconsciousness and lack of awareness about the surroundings
- A sudden feeling of anxiety or fear
First Aid For Seizure
When you see someone having a seizure, follow these simple steps for the correct first aid:
Take To A Safer Space
Move the person having a seizure from dangerous objects that could potentially cause harm due to sudden falling. These objects can be fire, water, furniture, stones, machinery etc. It is essential to move a person to a place which has more space and better ventilation. Also, make sure that the patient has ample space to sit or lie down and lesser people around. Only a person giving the first aid and 2-3 more to move the person around are enough at the site.
Wait Until The Convulsion Reduces
Let the patient relax once moved to a safer space. Wait for the convulsion/seizures to reduce and then take the next important step in first aid. Turn the patient into the recovery position only when he/she becomes a little stable than before. This position helps the patient to come back to his usual self after a sustained attack. This should only be done once the shaking stops. The patient should be then moved to his/her left side with one hand placed on the ground.
Airway Should Be Clear
The person giving the first aid should ensure that the breathing passage of the patient is clear. For the same, let the patient lie down without any turns in the body. However, if the seizure happens again after bringing the patient to the recovery pose, immediately seek medical help for further treatment.
Do Not Leave The Person Alone
In most cases, the patients stop shaking after a few seconds or minutes of the seizure. However, despite coming out of shock, the patient may take around one hour to go back to normal sense. Immediately after the seizure, the patient may be lost, confused or even drowsy. Never leave a patient immediately after a seizure. Wait for the person to become normal and in a state where he/she can identify people, surroundings.
Also Read: Natural and effective remedies for epilepsy
One should see a doctor immediately in any one of the following conditions:
- The episodes last for more than 5 minutes
- Breathing does not happen after a seizure
- If a second seizure happens quickly after the first one
- The person having the seizure has a fever
- During pregnancy
- If you have diabetes
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