The month of May 2010 has been a refresher training month for EMT’s, paramedics and firefighters. The week of 5-14-2010 the training subject for Mobiles EMT’s and paramedic’s concerned epilepsy and seizure management. During this refresher training about epilepsy and seizure management emergency medical responders are reminded of what the definition of a seizure is and what causes a seizure.
EMT’s and paramedics are reminded that a seizure is when the brain has a malfunction and causes a patient to have a loss of consciousness and the muscles through the body to have contractions.
The goal for the refresher training about epilepsy and seizure management is to help emergency responders to increase their understanding in managing, knowing causes, and recognizing the different types of seizures.
The types of seizures that are taught during the epilepsy and seizure management class are generalized seizure, partial seizure, tonic seizure, clonic seizure. Epilepsy, seizures, the types of seizures and the many known causes of seizures is the reason EMT’s, paramedics, and firefighters need to have a refresher class to help them be efficient in their ability to manage seizures.
A seizure can be spontaneous and have an unknown cause or may be due to an injury or other cause that affects the brain. Some of those can be due to flashing lights, chemical imbalances, and head trauma high fever just to mention a few. Epileptic seizures are not contagious and are not a mental illness. People who suffer from epileptic seizures may also suffer from depression and anxiety.
Seizures usually only last a few minutes but if a seizure lasts more than five minutes this can become a life threat matter. A generalized seizure affects the whole brain and a partial seizure affects parts of the brain. A person having a myoclonic seizure may have brief contractions of the muscles. A person having an atonic seizure may have a loss of muscle activity. A person having an infantile spasm normally happens in children between birth and 2 ½ to 3 ½ months old and these spasms may be sudden or quick movements in the arms, knees, or head.
Some of the medications taken for seizures are levetiracetam, Phenobarbital, topiramate, carbamazepine just to mention a few of the many other drugs used prescribed for epilepsy.
When EMT’s and paramedics are treating a seizure patient they normally use the word sample to collect patient information.
The word Sample is just an easy way for emergency first responders to use for seizure patients and on other emergency medical calls that may be traumatic.
S is for Signs and Symptoms
A is for Allergies
M is for Medications
P is for Pertinent medical history
L is for Last oral intake
E is for Events leading up to the incident
If you witness a person having an epileptic seizure call 911 quickly as possible.
Most people are able to manage their seizures and live a productive life by taking their medications as directed by their family doctor.