Wednesday 1 February 2012

Different translation, global condition: Epilepsy, てんかん, эпилепсия, die Epilepsie, मिर्गी, Epilepsia.

After a couple of weeks of writing the blog, I managed to find the settings on my account that showed me geographically where people were reading it. Firstly I think it's amazing anyone is reading at all, so thank-you. Secondly I was awe struck looking at the readership map how far reaching it was. What social media does is astounding and it's incredible to see a map highlighted in places like America, Canada, Columbia, Brazil, Japan, India, Germany, Russia, Hong Kong and many more as well as just the UK where I live.

The thing about Epilepsy is it may be called many things, but people with Epilepsy face the same problems in every country that makes up the 50 Million people with the condition across the world.

It doesn't matter where we live, what kind of Epilepsy we have, what age we are, or even where we are at the time, one thing that unites us all is the hope that when we do have a seizure, someone will help and look after us.

But very few people know exactly what to do in the scenario of an individual having a seizure and it is very poorly covered in first aid training, despite being one of the most common conditions you would likely encounter in public.

Here is some basic guidance about seizures and the first aid treatment you can help with.

- There are many different types of seizures which can range in their appearance from staring into space and looking dazed, seizures where the person goes stiff and collapses then shakes, or one of the two in isolation, someone wandering around without knowing where they are going, pulling at clothes, speaking incoherently, or limbs becoming stiff.

These are all common symptoms of someone having an Epileptic Seizure, but broadly speaking the advice for how you should treat a seizure is the same.

What to DO:

- If a person is any danger, try and move any potentially dangerous objects around them, or guide them away from dangerous situations if they are walking about.
- Put something soft under their head, particularly if they are shaking.
- Speak in calm and reassuring tones to the person.
- Time the seizure. It can be incredibly difficult to judge if you are trying to help at the same time, so use a watch if you can.
- Stay with the person, or find someone who can until they have recovered from the seizure, it's possible they may be forgetful or confused when they come round from the seizure.
- Put the person in the recovery position once the seizure has finished to aid breathing.

- If the seizure has lasted longer than 5 minutes, if they have injured themselves, if you know it is their first seizure, if one seizure has followed another without the person regaining consciousness between them or you believe the person needs urgent medical attention: Phone 999 for an ambulance.

What NOT to do:

- Don't put anything near the person's mouth.
- Don't shout at the person or make abrupt movements that could frighten them.
- Don't restrain the person.
- Don't try and bring the person round from the seizure.
- Don't move the person unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Don't give the person anything to eat or drink until they have fully recovered.

Something you can do now: read the first aid info and send the post to your friends or colleagues, family etc. It is highly likely that at least one, probably more, of the readers of this blog today will know someone who has come across a seizure today, this week, this month in public.

It's also not only likely, but is the case that knowing what to do, could not only prevent serious injury, but could even save someone's life.

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