Saturday, September 01, 2007

Things you didn't know about seizures!

1In the news: U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts who experienced a seizure in July, is among 2.5 million Americans who suffer from the disorder. Seizures can have many causes, including medicine, high fevers, head injuries and medical conditions, such as low blood sugar, drug use and alcohol withdrawal.

2What they're like: Many seizures cause loss of consciousness with twitching or shaking of the body. Some consist of staring spells, says the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Most seizures last 30 seconds to two minutes and do not cause lasting harm.

3What to do: Most seizures stop by themselves, but a person having one could be injured; breathe food, fluid, or vomit into the lungs; or not get enough oxygen. Turn the person on their side, so he or she can't choke on vomit. Don't restrain the person or put anything between the teeth during a seizure, according to the Nemours Foundation.

4Afterward: After a convulsion, most people go into a deep sleep. Don't prevent the person from sleeping. Monitor the person's pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure. (If the seizure lasts more than five minutes, it could be a life-threatening condition, such as stroke or meningitis.)

5Prevention: Medications are often prescribed. People with uncontrolled seizures shouldn't drive, swim or bike alone.


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