One patient with glioblastoma still alive nine years later
by bm1979 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:00 AM
by Lorre_G on Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:00 AM
This is what a seizure is:
Seizure Information & First Aid Tips
Seizures consist of unusual sensations, behaviors or movements resulting from abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. They may result in an alteration of consciousness or even a convulsion.
Not All Seizures Look Alike
There are many types of seizures and they can usually be divided into partial or generalized events. Partial seizures take place when the abnormal brain activity remains localized to a single area. Partial sensory seizures may not be obvious to an onlooker. A patient may experience sensory changes such as a strange feeling, taste, smell or even an auditory or visual hallucination. There may be movement, tremor or stiffness involving parts of the body. Consciousness may be impaired with the patient appearing confused, mumbling and unable to answer questions or perform simple tasks.
What to Do or Not Do
No first aid is necessary unless the seizure becomes convulsive. Then follow instructions for grand mal seizure described below.
Stay with the person. Gently guide them away from danger if they are walking. Talk gently to them.
No immediate action needed other than reassurance and emotional support.
DO NOT - restrain the person or try to "wake them up" because they may become violent.
DO NOT - Put anything in their mouth.
Generalized seizures occur when the entire brain is involved with the abnormal electrical activity from the beginning. There may be subtle blinking and staring for a few seconds or a patient may instead suffer a grand mal seizure or convulsion.
Grand Mal Seizure
A tonic-clonic seizure is also called a grand mal seizure or convulsion. This type of seizure occurs when excessive electrical energy suddenly overwhelms the entire surface of the brain, affecting the whole body and causing immediate loss of consciousness.
Often this type of seizure begins with a hoarse cry that is caused by air being forced out of the lungs, and is followed by the person falling to the ground unconscious. The muscles become rigid during the tonic phase of the seizures (the body stiffens momentarily), and then the clonic phase occurs (alternating stiffening and relaxation), causing jerking movements of the muscles. A variation of this seizure type is atonic seizure (drop attack). When this type of seizure occurs, all the muscles suddenly stiffen and then relax, causing the person to dramatically collapse and fall; then recover quickly.
Associated with the loss of consciousness, some loss of control of bodily functions may occur. A frothy saliva may appear around the mouth. This is caused by air being forced through the fluids of the mouth. Breathing may become quite shallow or even stop momentarily, and because the lower rate of breathing reduces the supply of oxygen, the skin in people with light complexions may turn a bluish color. People of color do not turn blue, but do have a change in color tone. Although this looks dangerous, the momentary stoppage of breathing rarely causes permanent problems. The uncontrolled movements of the body generally end naturally after a minute or two, but the person usually is confused and sleepy. Many people may go back to their regular activities after resting awhile.
A person who witnesses a seizure may feel compelled to administer first aid. Though a seizure may look frightening to bystanders, the person experiencing it is usually unconscious and not in danger. However, there are some tips to keep in mind when someone is having a seizure.
What to Do
Try to help the person lie down, to avoid injury during a fall.
Cushion the head with something soft and flat and move furniture or sharp objects that are nearby.
Loosen any tight clothing around the neck and remove glasses.
Turn the person on his or her side to help keep the airway open. (Do not attempt to put anything in the person’s mouth.)
When the seizure ends, calmly reassure the person that everything is all right. (Be aware that there may be a period of confusion or disorientation.)
Help should be called if:
The seizure is prolonged (more than 5 minutes) or there is a series of seizures.
There are other injuries.
The seizure took place in water.
The person is pregnant or has a medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease.
Normal breathing does not resume.
DO NOT - Panic. You cannot do anything to stop a seizure. Try to remain calm.
DO NOT - Force anything into the person’s mouth
DO NOT - Try to hold the patient’s tongue. It cannot be swallowed.
DO NOT - Hold down or restrain the person or try to "wake them up."
DO NOT - Give food, drink or medication until the person is fully conscious and awake.
DO NOT - Leave the person unassisted until you are sure he or she is fully oriented.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR WHEN:
The seizure occurs for the first time.
You are unsure of what to do.
The seizure is different than usual.
Vomiting makes it impossible to take seizure medications.
GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IF:
The seizure has not stopped in 20 minutes - call 911.
Multiple seizures occur without the patient waking in between seizures.
This is a first-time seizure that lasts longer than 15 minutes.
The seizure occurs during the course of a medical illness.
by bboopms1 on Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:00 AM
by sergeantmajorette on Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:00 AM
Here's an example: my brother (who is on many of the same meds as the original poster, IV NSCLC w/brain mets) called me up last week asking "What do I--? How--? What are you--?" He did this for several minutes, and he kept trying, never saying "Ah, never mind. Forgot what I was going to say."
That's a seizure. I know, because I had those was I was a kid: petit mal, they called it, in those days. Luckily, he did it at the doctor's office even though he finally got the words out. I made eye contact with the doctor and then I called him later.
Something to do with the steroid dosage, if it isn't the lesions themselves. The thing to remember is, the doctor has to be told about any neurological issues: e-mail is great; our doctor returns calls faithfully. You have to stay in contact!!
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