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How to Care for Someone Having a Seizure

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    The care of someone with epilepsy varies depending on the frequency and type of seizures. It is important for the person to take anticonvulsant medication regularly to prevent seizures.

    When a seizure occurs, an observer should use common sense to prevent injuries:

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    If a seizure condition such as absence seizures is suspected, the doctor will begin by taking a thorough medical history, including information on any birth trauma, serious head injury, or infections of the brain such as encephalitis or meningitis. Brain function can be "viewed" with an electroencephalograph, or EEG, which detects the electrochemical relay of information from brain cell to brain cell. EEGs will show characteristic, abnormal patterns during different types of seizures, including...

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    • Cushion the person's head.
    • Loosen any tight neckwear.
    • Turn the person on his or her side.
    • Do not hold the person down or restrain the person.
    • Do not place anything in the mouth or try to pry the teeth apart. The person is not in danger of swallowing his or her tongue.
    • Observe seizure characteristics -- length, type of movements, direction of head or eye turning. These characteristics may help the doctor diagnose the type of seizure.

    WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

    Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on May 25, 2014
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