Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/First aid/Epilepsy

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Epilepsy, also known as seizures or fits, is a condition characterized by an abnormal focus of activity in the brain that produces severe motor responses or changes in consciousness. Fortunately, epilepsy can often be controlled by medications. Grand mal (tonic-clonic) seizure is the more serious type of seizure. Grand mal seizures may be - but are not always - preceded by an aura. The victim soon comes to recognize these auras, which allows him time to lie down and prepare for the seizure’s onset. A burst of nerve impulses from the brain causes unconsciousness and generalized muscular contractions, often with loss of bladder and bowel control. The primary dangers in a grand mal seizure are injuries resulting from falls and the convulsions as well as a cessation of breathing. A period of unconsciousness or mental confusion follows this type of seizure. When full consciousness returns, the victim will have little or no recollection of the seizure.

First aid is aimed at preventing the patient from injuring himself or herself. Nothing should be placed between the patient’s teeth for any reason. Never try to restrain a victim during convulsions; however, do not leave them alone.