Epileptic Seizure Emergencies – Warning Signs and What to Do
At Prestige ER, we believe that education is the first step in raising awareness and eliminating the social stigma associated with certain conditions, including epilepsy. As always, our primary focus is ensuring patients receive timely treatment during epileptic emergencies.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting the nervous system. This condition is also known as a seizure disorder.
The seizures associated with epilepsy can have different causes, including brain injuries and genetics. However, in many cases, the cause of the disorder is unknown.
What is a Seizure?
The brain generates tiny electrical impulses which follow a specific and very orderly pattern. These impulses travel through a network of neurons – nerve cells in your brain – and throughout the body via neurotransmitters.
In epilepsy, the brain’s electrical rhythm sometimes goes off balance, and this disruption is the cause of seizures. As a result, an epilepsy attack can briefly alter a patient’s consciousness, movements, or sensations.
Epilepsy in America – The Facts
- 3.4 million Americans have epilepsy
- 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy during their lifetime
- There are 150,000 new diagnoses of epilepsy each year in the United States
- A third of epileptic patients live with uncontrollable seizures due to medications not working for them
- 6 out of 10 epileptic patients don’t know the cause of their condition
Warning Signs of a Seizure
Seizures are generally:
- Unpredictable – There isn’t much warning time
- Episodic – They come and go
- Brief – They range from a few seconds to a few minutes
- Stereotypic – Symptoms tend to be similar in every occurrence
The Epilepsy Foundation lists the following possible warning signs of a seizure:
- Experiencing odd feelings that are often indescribable
- Unusual smells, tastes, or feelings
- Having unique experiences such as “out-of-body” sensations or feeling somehow detached; changes in perception including how the body looks or feels
- Feeling spacey, fuzzy, or confused
- Memory lapses or having periods of forgetfulness
- Daydreaming episodes
- Jerking movements of an arm, leg, or body
- Loss of balance or falling
- Tingling, numbness, or feelings of electricity in any part of the body
- Unexplained weakness, confusion, or sleepiness
- Unexpectedly losing control of bodily functions (urine, stool)
What is a Seizure Emergency?
Thankfully, most seizures don’t require medical attention; however, it’s important to recognize when you need to rush to the emergency room:
Please come to Prestige ER as soon as possible when someone experiences one or more of the following:
- It’s the first time this person has had a seizure
- The person has trouble breathing or waking after the seizure passes
- The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes. This type of seizure is known as Status Epilepticus, and it can be life-threatening
- The person has repeated seizures – Known as seizure clusters
- The person got injured during the seizure
- The seizure happened when the person was in the water
- The person has other underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or if they are pregnant
At Prestige ER, we have the best doctors and the latest diagnostic imaging technology to determine if a seizure results from a brain injury or if it might be something else.
You will receive personalized treatment in a calm environment with minimal wait times in both our Plano and Mesquite locations. In addition, we will provide medications and monitor your condition so you can recover faster.
Know Where to Go in the Event of an Emergency
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