When is a case of epilepsy requiring professional intervention by a doctor, when can the patient’s family manage on their own at home? (Le Minh)
First of all, families of people with epilepsy need to be aware of this disease, not that convulsions, rolling eyes, foaming at the mouth are epilepsy, but there are many different forms. The disease can be divided into three groups: generalized epilepsy group, partial epilepsy group and other group.
With generalized epilepsy with spasms, convulsions, the patient suddenly loses consciousness, falls, foaming at the mouth lasting about 1-1.5 minutes, then he can breathe and regain consciousness. Also belongs to the group of generalized epilepsy, the patient is numb, loses consciousness completely, this case is common in children. Children who are studying have a blank expression, when the teacher reads and writes, they do not write, and after a while, they can return to normal. This case may be accompanied by unconscious activities such as flailing arms and legs, chewing mouth.
The type of partial seizures only jerks a part of the body such as the right hand and then spreads to the face or from the legs to the hands, face… with many different forms. There are also cases of sensory disturbances such as eyes closed, unable to see.
Of the three groups, generalized epilepsy is the most dangerous and requires prompt intervention. The patient needs to be placed on a safe surface, the body is lying on the side so that if secretions are present, they will not be aspirated into the lungs, can assist in breathing (extend clothing), need to have ample space, to avoid shortage of air. gas. In some cases, it is necessary to have a soft object in the corner of the mouth to avoid the patient biting the tongue.
In case the seizure occurs for the first time and the family cannot recognize it, it is necessary to take it to the hospital. If the patient has a seizure that occurs on a daily basis and is known in advance, taking medication may not be necessary. But when there are 3-5 consecutive seizures, lasting 15-20 minutes, the condition is not good, the patient must be taken to the hospital because it can stop breathing, respiratory failure and other complications.
Assoc.Prof.BSCK II Nguyen Van Lieu
Head of Neurology Department, Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi