According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are 50 million people living with epilepsy worldwide, and most of them reside in developing countries. About 10 million persons with epilepsy are there in India. Epilepsy is one of the least understood of all the neurological diseases, but the most common neurological disease globally.
If you have a patient of epilepsy at home or your friend is living with epilepsy, you can be of great help to him/her. You can help the patient during the seizure attack as
well as after the seizure is over.
Following are the simple things that you can do to help the patient with epilepsy during a seizure attack. These simple things can be very valuable for the patient during his difficult times.
1. Gently roll the person onto one side and keep a soft pillow (or anything soft) below the head of the person.
2. Remove tight clothes especially neck-tie, or tight clothes around the neck.
3. Remove sharp and hard objects around the person to avoid serious injury
4. It is generally seen that people try to put finger or some object in the person’s mouth. Do not do that. Person will not swallow the tongue during the attack of a seizure.
5. Do not firmly hold the person during attack of seizure.
6. Closely observe the person for the symptoms and movements so that details
of the attack can be clearly provided to the healthcare professional
7. Do not panic when the person is having seizures. Provide reassurance to other people around the patient.
8. If the patient is not recovering from the seizure, please call for an ambulance or take the patient to a hospital.
What you can do after the seizure attack to help your relative/friend with epilepsy?
1. Provide history and detailed information about the seizure attack to the healthcare provider.
2. Adherence to medicines is key to the success of epilepsy treatment.Discontinuation of medication increases the risk of seizure recurrence. Regularly remind the person to take his/her medicines and help them set-up a system that helps them with timely reminders and adherence.
3. Take the person to the Neurologist for regular follow-ups.
4. Note down the number of seizure attacks and triggers for the attack.
5. Avoid exposure to the triggers for seizure recurrence.
6. Closely observe the patient for any adverse events occurring because of the
medicine and also, check and monitor if the medicine is effective.
7. Make sure that the person is carrying medicines when he/she is travelling. Your help is critical for the well-being of your relative/friend with epilepsy.
Stand for epilepsy
Let’s spread awareness
Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2014 Mar;17(Suppl 1): S3–S11.