Kelly Osbourne, daughter of rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, was taping for her television show “Fashion Police” when the TV host suddenly collapsed and suffered a seizure. The reality TV star was admitted to a hospital and released after five days of hospitalization. After suffering from a health scare, Kelly was never given an official diagnosis. The doctors still do not know the cause of her seizure. Nowadays, Kelly is back shooting for her television show, looking as healthy as ever.
When there is an abnormal electrical activity in the brain, there becomes an irrepressible muscular activity and unconsciousness. This is called a seizure or convulsion. There are different types of seizures, some mild and others severe and prolonged. There are several signs and symptoms in seizures including twitching or jerking of face and limbs, foaming at the mouth, temporary loss of consciousness, uncontrollable bladder and/ or bowel, and bluish/ purple lips and skin color. Sometimes, in feverish convulsion, children may have flushed and dry skin.
It is important to not move nor try to restrain the victim as it may lead to unnecessary injury like broken bones or injury of the soft tissues. However, it is important to protect the person from its immediate environment. Remove any sharp or hazardous objects such as eyeglasses, furniture, and others away from the person. Take extra precaution in handling electrical appliances to prevent burning or scalding. If the victim is close to any hard surface, pad the area with clothing, pillow or anything soft to prevent supplementary complications. If possible, place a soft and flat material under the head. Loosen any clothing, especially around the person’s neck. Moreover, do not insert anything inside the person’s mouth, not even pads as this may lead to damages in the mouth tissues.
Manage the seizure. If there are bystanders, reassure their concerns and kindly ask them to move for space for the convulsing victim. Stay with the person until the seizure ends. Although it is important to note that if the seizure goes beyond five minutes, emergency medical help must be called for.
Post-seizure, rapidly roll the unconscious person to their side. This will enable the airways to open and clear. To prevent body heat loss, cover the victim with a coat or blanket. Check and monitor for normal breathing. CPR should only be initiated if normal breathing does not commence after seizure. However, if the person does not wake up 10 minutes after the convulsion or difficulty in breathing is observed, call for emergency medical help. In addition, emergency should be called if this is the person’s first seizure or another seizure begins. Allow sleep until there is full recovery but check and monitor for response every few minutes.
If seizure occurs while in a wheelchair, car seat or stroller, do not remove the seatbelt. Slightly lean the person on one side to avoid choking on fluid/ food/ vomit in the mouth. If required, support the head and protect airway. After the twitching and jerking stops, remove the seatbelt and place in recovery position if required or possible.
Seizures have many do’s and don’ts which often leads to confusion. First aid courses offer basic training and knowledge in situations where emergencies may arise.