Fainting, Convulsions and seizures First Aid
- By sahlhealth
- June 15, 2021
- 35 views
Convulsions and seizures
A seizure is an episode that results from an alteration in the central nervous system. It is often characterized by jerking movements, losing consciousness, and losing bladder control. However, there are many types of seizures, and not all of them involve a rhythmic movement of the limbs.
In some cases, seizures may develop as an absence or disconnection or an alteration in one’s senses or consciousness. What most people recognize as a seizure is what we call tonic-clonic seizures or grand mal seizures. In any case, seizures are treated similarly, and they often leave patients confused or extremely agitated. This is what you need to do in these cases:
First aids to treat a seizure
Keep in mind that a seizure does not last more than a few minutes. When a seizure starts, stabilize the person to prevent any falls. It is better if you can place the person on the floor. Turn him/her to the side and put something under his/her head to prevent head trauma. Check for any medical bracelet that the person may have with emergency call numbers or information. Remove any eyeglasses and accessories that may cause additional damage and loosen his/her clothes. Take the time to know how much the seizure lasted.
In these cases, you don’t need to try to hold the person or prevent his/her movements. You don’t need to put anything in his/her mouth either, and when he’s starting to recover consciousness, do not immediately offer water or food. You may do this later when the person is back on his/her senses.
Not all seizures fall into the emergency category, but you should call urgent medical services if:
- The seizure is longer than 5 minutes
- The seizure is repeated after a short while
- This is the first time the person has a seizure and/or has a chronic condition or is pregnant
- The person has a sudden breathing problem
- The person gets severely hurt
Handling confusion after a seizure
One of the main differences between a seizure and other episodes with loss of consciousness is that patients feel confused and may display an abnormal behavior in the recovery period after a seizure.
In these cases, wait for confusion symptoms to be over. They should not last for long, and if they do, the patient may need medical help. Since you don’t know what the person might do, it is recommended to take away any item that would become dangerous. Do not restrain or struggle with the patient unnecessarily and try to guide him/her away from danger. Speak calmly and be reassuring and when the person is fully awake explain to him what happened and guide him/her home safely.
Fainting is a brief episode in which the individual loses consciousness, and it is caused by a reduction in the blood flow to the brain. In some cases, it is associated with cardiovascular or heart condition, but in other cases, it might be the result of emotional stress, exhaustion, pain, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, dehydration, high temperatures, among other causes.
The individual who faints often has a slow heartbeat in the early phase of the episode, which is often preceded by dizziness or lightheadedness, sweating, loss of balance, and/or confusion. This is not always a clinical emergency, and most cases can be solved through first aid measures.
First-aid measures for fainting
An individual who fainted or those starting to feel faint often loses balance and muscle control, falling to the ground as they lose consciousness. Thus, make sure the patient is in a safe position and then raise his legs above the level of the head supporting the individual’s ankles on your shoulders to favor blood flow back to the heart and the brain. Check his vital signs.
Loosen collars or anything that is fastened to the body and take out the shoes. Make sure he’s having enough oxygen and ask people around to clear the area to give him enough room to breathe fresh air. Keep attentive at recovery signs and when the patient regains consciousness help him sit up. Fainting episodes should not last more than one minute. If they do, call emergency services right away and check the patient’s vital signs. In some cases, it will be necessary to check the airways for foreign objects or material or perform CPR if the patient is not breathing.