by vwxyz on Tue Apr 05, 2011 02:02 AM
by Lorre_G on Tue Apr 05, 2011 01:53 PM
This is the information we give our patients about seizures. Hope you find it helpful.
Seizure Information and 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 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 TO DO
No first aid is necessary unless the seizure becomes convulsive. Then follow instructions for grand mal seizures 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.
Grand Mal Seizure
A tonic-clonic seizure is 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 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
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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 a while.
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:
1. The seizure is prolonged (more than 5 minutes) or there are a series of seizures.
2. There are other injuries.
3. The seizure took place in water.
4. The person is pregnant or has a medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease.
5. Normal breathing does not resume.
DO NOT -
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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 karynk on Tue Apr 05, 2011 01:54 PM
Hi Jan -
There are 3 different classifications for seizures. Grand Mal, which is what most people think of when they think of epileptic seizures, Petit Mal and Partial (focal) seizures. Seizures are caused by an electrical disturbance in the brain. Here's a link that explains the different types of seizures and what they might "look" like -
Some tumors are more apt to cause seizures than others, for some reason. My husband (dx - anaplastic oligoastrocytoma) would be flopping on the floor with full blown grand mal seizures if he wasn't as medicated as he is. But medicated his seizures presented as pauses in his speech, and garbled speech following the seizure.
If your son is medicated, these might just be seizures that he will have to learn to live with. You can always have his neurologist try some different meds as well, as there are a lot of anti-seizures meds on the market.
by PhilV on Tue Apr 05, 2011 08:00 PM
Other than some pretty bad head ache's my seizures were of a strange episode. I would have a loss of rememboring simple little words like cat and dog and I couldn't remember my wife and kids name but I knew who they were. Also I would have images that seemed like they was floating around the back of my head. When I would awake the next day I would be back to normal.
by vwxyz on Wed Apr 06, 2011 01:43 AM
by karynk on Wed Apr 06, 2011 01:55 PM
I am sure that this is very hard for you. Any new change or new symptom in the BT world can cause a lot of anxiety and have you questioning everything. Your best weapon is education.
In my opinion-
What you explained does sound like seizure like activity, but I am not a medical professional. If your son has not seen his regular neurologist, and the doctors that are questioning if this was a seizure were the ER doctors - that would explain a lot. He needs to be evaluated by his regular neuro, and if he doesn't have one - he needs one. Diagnosing seizures is not an easy task, unless the patient has a full blown grand mal in front of the doctor. A regular neurologist will need to do a history on him and follow up on any meds that he will be taking for seizures. There are many meds out there, and sometimes (as with my husband) it takes a combination of a few to control seizures in BT patients. Sometimes, no matter how many drugs they are on, there will still be seizure activity - it's the nature of having a BT.
As for the cause of the seizure - they may never know exactly what is causing it.
Educate yourself and anyone involved with your son on seizures, and what to do if he has one. You can keep a seizure journal, to assist his medical team in how often they occur, and if there are any common things that cause them. My husbands #1 trigger is fatigue!
Here are some additional links - one easy reading, one a little more technical. You can also search yourself on google by putting in "seizures and brain tumors"
Again - please talk with your son's medical team about your concerns.
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