If you are a person who is living with a loved one who has epilepsy, it can get tough. It’s not that the person is going to be suffering all the time, but when a seizure occurs, it can be frightening for the patient as well as the caretaker and unless in the know and knowledgeable about the condition, it might be hard to manage. Here are a few tips when caring for someone with epilepsy:
What to do – General Tips
There are different levels and types of seizures that occur with epileptic patients. Some of them are mild and can be easily calmed with mind control. However, the more scary ones like gran-mal ones can inhibit the mind and cause uncontrollable shaking and spasms of the muscles. As the observer, you need to first and foremost understand the intensity of the attack. Also, you would need to make note of behavior before the actual seizure as the patient may blank out during this time. Another important point to remember is to find out how often these attacks occur and to what extent.
What to do during seizures
When a patient is going through the epileptic seizure, it is most common that they would not be aware of their surroundings or even what is happening to them during the occurrence.
- Keep calm! This will not only help you be more alert on what action to take next but even the patient needs calmness to be able to cope with what they are going through before, during and after the seizure.
- Carry the patient to an area that is secure and away from sharp objects or other items that could hurt them while they are going through the seizure.
- A soft item like a pillow or soft couch is the ideal place to take the patient to, because a seizure could include muscle spasms that would make the limbs move rapidly and a hardened seat could cause harm.
- Turn the patient over to the side. Leaving them on their backs or in a lopsided position could result in their airway being blocked or choking. By turning them to the side, you give them way to breathe properly.
- Lightly hold the person. The muscles of the patient will be constricting and expanding and holding them down hard will only increase the suffering. By calmly holding them, you can position them to the side so that they are able to breathe without constriction.
- When the seizure is over, remain calm and keep reassuring the patient that everything is fine. Being an understanding caregiver will also help the patient to heal from the attack that just happened. It is very important, as mentioned before, that you hold your peace so that the victim does not feel embarrassed or pressurized or scared in any way.
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