BY Farida Dawkins, 10:00am March 26, 2018,

Purple Day: How to deal with an epileptic seizure

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Purple Day was founded to bring awareness to epilepsy.  First formulated in 2008, it is now commemorated annually on March 26.  In 2009, the Anita Kaufman Foundation in conjunction with the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia launched purple day on an international scale.  The event is also observed in Australia and Canada.

Epilepsy is a condition in which there is an overload of otherwise routine electrical and chemical reactions that occur within the neurons or nerve cells of the brain. The occurrence of multiple seizures, not a single one would render a person as epileptic.  A seizure may come in the following forms: a “blank stare, muscle spasms, uncontrolled movements, altered awareness, odd sensations, or a convulsion.” Epilepsy is considered a common neurological disorder occurring in an estimated 50 million individuals worldwide.

The condition can be controlled by drug therapy.

An epileptic seizure can be traumatizing however there are some steps to take if you find yourself in the midst of a person suffering from an episode.  Keep reading to learn more.

Purple Day: How to deal with an epileptic seizure

Diagram…Sunday Times

During an epileptic episode:

Do your best to keep the person from falling. You can guide them to a safe surface. Move items away that can do more harm such as furniture.  If the person is already on the ground during the seizure, keep them on their side as this will help fluid from the mouth to move out safely. Do not force your fingers or any objects into the person’s mouth.  Do not try to hold the person down and don’t apply pressure to them as well. Pay attention and document what happened during the seizure so you can tell emergency personnel; such as how long the episode lasted and how the person behaved before the onset of the seizure.

After the epileptic seizure:

Check for injuries.  Turn the person on their left or right if you weren’t able to during the seizure.  If the person is having trouble breathing, clear their mouth gently clearing their mouth with your finger.  Loosen their clothing – especially around their waist and neck. Provide a safe area for rest.  Only provide food or drink after you are sure the person is fully alert.  Stay with the person until it is okay to leave them on their own – either by the arrival of medical assistance or the person is coherent.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: March 26, 2018


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