Definition of "epilepsy."
It is a disorder of spontaneously returning seizures.
Seizures are uncontrolled electrical impulses of the brain.
Partial seizures affect brain function only in one area.
General seizures affect activity of entire brain.
Factors that may increase the risks of epilepsy.
Drug and alcohol intoxication.
Metabolic and nutritional disorders.
Signs and symptoms of various types of seizures.
Grand mal seizures.
Aura (warning signal before seizure such as numbness, flashing lights, dizziness, tingling, spots before eyes).
Loss of consciousness.
Stiffening of the body (tonic stage), followed by jerking of extremities (clonic stage) lasting only a few minutes).
Fatigue and confusion after seizure.
Petit mal seizures.
No aura or warning.
May appear as a brief staring period.
Usually last only 5-30 seconds.
Remains conscious while involuntary motor symptoms occur.
Possible confusion or hallucinations.
Focal or Jacksonian seizures.
Movements localized to one side of the body.
Frequently begins on hand, foot, or face.
May or may not be progressive.
Involuntary jerking motions (myoclonic).
Momentary loss of muscle movement (akinetic).
Total loss of muscle tone (atonic).
What to do if client has a seizure.
Protect client from injury.
Loosen constrictive clothing.
Remove potentially injurious objects.
Never try to restrain client.
Never try to force anything into the mouth.
Turn head and body to one side to prevent aspiration after client relaxes from seizure.
Call ambulance only if seizure is prolonged or injury is extensive.
Measures to prevent or control epilepsy.
Take medication as ordered and avoid over-the-counter medications without approval by physician.
Wear Medic-Alert identification.
Identify and avoid possible precipitating factors such as stress, alcohol, fatigue, etc.
Notify physician if seizures increase in frequency.
Obtain support or counseling as needed.
Contact Epilepsy Foundation of America (800-EFA-1000) if financial assistance for medication is needed or if job discrimination occurs.
Possible complications of epilepsy.
Status epilepticus (rapid succession of seizures).
Severe injury received during a seizure.