AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

A manual for first aid and convulsions

We are dedicated to imparting our knowledge and experience on all first aid-related topics at First Response Resuscitation and First Aid Training. Because the subject of seizures is so vast, we decided to start by looking at the many forms of seizures and some pertinent first aid recommendations.

While witnessing a seizure might be frightening, having a rudimentary understanding of what’s going on will help you stay composed and administer the necessary first aid.

How do seizures occur?

The brain generates and transmits billions of electrical nerve impulses in a controlled and coordinated manner in order for the body to function. When the brain experiences an abrupt, erratic burst of electrical activity that briefly interferes with normal function, it is said to be having a seizure.

Seizure types

The parts of the brain impacted by the erratic electrical surge during a seizure are used to categorize them. Two main categories exist:

  • Partial seizures are when the brain only experiences a localized increase in electrical activity.

  • Generalized seizures are characterized by a generalized increase in brain electrical activity.

Depending on the sort of seizure they are having, a person may exhibit different signs and symptoms.

Partial seizures

A person experiencing a partial seizure could be awake or might not be aware of what they are doing or where they are. Some of their signs could be:

  • Distorted perceptions (smell, taste, hearing, speech, and vision).

  • Fear, rage, anxiety, or panic are examples of strong emotions.

  • Feelings of ‘deja vu’, memory lapses, or ‘flashbacks’.

  • Jerking, twitching, or stiffness of limbs.

  • shouting, swearing, or screaming.

  • Sexual inhibition.

  • Incontinence.

  • Nausea, sweating, or feeling flushed.

The majority of the time, partial seizures end on their own. As the seizure subsides, first aid focuses on keeping an eye on the patient and assuring their safety. However, the person should be led away from threats like vehicles, and dangerous objects should be removed from their immediate vicinity rather than being restrained.

Seizures in general

These are further divided into several categories:

  • Absence seizures are transient, uncontrollable periods of unconsciousness. The person is suddenly unresponsive and looks to be “daydreaming.” Frequent absence seizures might disrupt numerous daily tasks. Normal spontaneous recovery from absence seizures occurs.

  • Atonic seizures (drop attacks) are rapid, total losses of muscular tone that cause a person to fall or collapse. Although falls frequently result in injuries, recovery is typically spontaneous.

  • Tonic-clonic seizures (the most common type of generalized seizure) induce limb rigidity, thrashing, and jerking, as well as facial twitching. Breathing problems cause cyanosis (a blue tinge) around the mouth. Consciousness is lost, and tongue/cheek biting and bladder/bowel incontinence are prevalent. Following the seizure, a “post ictal” period of confusion, tiredness, memory loss, and/or headache is frequent. Tonic-clonic seizures are frequently shorter than 3 minutes.