Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Supporting Epilepsy Around the World - Purple Day

On March 26th, people all around the world are encouraged to wear purple in support of Epilepsy Awareness Day. Get involved and show your support!!

Here are a few important facts about Epilepsy:
  • Approximately one in ten people will experience at least one seizure during a lifetime. A single seizure, however, is not epilepsy. Epilepsy is a condition that is defined by multiple seizures.
  • Seizures cause a change in function or behavior. A seizure may take many different forms including a blank stare, muscle spasms, uncontrolled movements, altered awareness, odd sensations, or a convulsion.
  • An estimated 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy. That means approximately one percent of the general population has epilepsy.

First Aid for Seizures

Generalized Tonic Clonic Seizure

In convulsive (tonic-clonic or grand mal) seizures, the individual loses consciousness and falls. The body is initially rigid (tonic phase). In the clonic phase, the arms and legs jerk or twitch rhythmically. Consciousness is regained slowly.

  • Stay calm.
  • Time the seizure – Usually there is no need for a trip to the hospital, unless the seizure lasts longer than five minutes (not including the postictal phase), the person has more than one seizure in a row, or if a person is injured, pregnant, or has diabetes.
  • Remove objects that may cause harm - clear the area of sharp or dangerous objects.
  • Do not hold the person down or restrain their movement.
  • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth: it is not possible for someone to swallow their tongue.
  • Turn the person on his or her side as the seizure ends to allow saliva or other fluids to drain away and keep airway clear.
  • Do not offer food or drink until the person is fully alert.
  • Stay with the person until they are fully alert and thinking clearly. Reassure the person when consciousness returns.

Complex Partial Seizure

For someone with disturbance of consciousness and undirected behavior, such as mumbling or random movements including head turning or pulling at clothes:

  • Speak calmly.
  • Do not restrain, but gently guide the person away from danger.
  • Stay with the person until he or she is fully alert.

Please note, the seizure and post seizure confusion may last as long as 20 minutes.

Absence Seizure (Petit Mal)

For momentary lapses of attention (absence or petit mal seizures) no first aid is needed; the seizures only last a few seconds. The individual may appear to be daydreaming. Because these seizures are so mild looking, they may go undiagnosed. If you suspect someone of having absence seizures, bring it to the attention of an appropriate person.

There are many types of seizures from the ones listed above to absent seizures, tiny twitches to infantile spasms (this is what Daniel suffers from currently). Regardless of the name of the seizure, they are all scary to see and even more so to experience.

To find out more about Purple Day and what it means, visit the site by clicking the link. Here is another cool kid, Cassidy Megan who is making a difference in this world.

We have made a few Purple Day T-shirts to show our support.  Let us know if you would like to purchase one.


TMI Tara said...

Thanks for letting us know!

Justinich Family said...

I am going to post this on my blog and on my face book account. And of course I will wear purple.

AZ Chapman said...

love the new blog. I will wear purple to.