On November 24th, Tracy Schultz, the director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, delivered a compelling talk on seizure recognition and first aid. She covered a wide range of topics including common causes of epilepsy, the difference between generalized seizures and partial seizures, triggers that may induce seizures, epilepsy treatment, the impact of seizures on behavior and learning, and how to recognize when a seizure is an emergency.
Seizures occur when neuronal activity is temporarily disrupted in the brain -- this interruption in electrical activity usually affects sensation, behavior, awareness or movement. There are more than twenty documented types of seizures; most of these seizures occur episodically and for short periods of time. Interestingly, 1/10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime, and 1/100 people will end up developing epilepsy. These statistics emphasize the prevalence of seizures (most of which are not emergencies) and the importance of knowing how to handle seizures in a calm, germane manner. The chart below from the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago highlights the key steps that should be taken in the event of a seizure:
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