If you have epilepsy you have a patron saint as St Valentine is the patron saint of people with epilepsy.
The Greek philosopher Hippocrates (460-377)BC was the first person to think that epilepsy starts in the brain.
Some famous people from the past who had epilepsy include Roman Emperor Julius Caesar and the artist Vincent Van Gogh.
Anyone can have a seizure if the circumstances are right, but most people do not have seizures under normal conditions.
Seizures are sometimes called fits or attacks. Seizures happen when there is a sudden interruption in the way the brain normally works.
If your friend had an Epileptic Fit, would you know what to do. The recovery position could help someone recover after a tonic clonic (convulsive) seizure. These steps should be followed once the shaking (convulsing) has stopped.
1.Kneel on the floor to one side of the person.
2.Place the person’s arm that is nearest you at a right angle to their body, so that it is bent at the elbow with the hand pointing upwards. This will keep it out of the way when you roll them over.
3.Gently pick up their other hand with your palm against theirs (palm to palm). Now place the back of their hand onto their opposite cheek (for example, against their left cheek if it is their right hand). Keep your hand there to guide and support their head as you roll them.
4. Use your other arm to reach across to the person’s knee that is furthest from you, and pull it up so that their leg is bent and their foot is flat on the floor.
5.Gently pull their knee towards you so that they roll over onto their side, facing you. Their body weight should help them to roll over quite easily.
6.Move the bent leg that is nearest to you, in front of their body so that it is resting on the floor. This position will help to balance them.
7.Gently raise their chin to tilt their head back slightly, as this will open up their airway and help them to breathe. Check that nothing is blocking their airway. If there is an obstruction, such as food in their mouth, remove this if you can do so safely. Stay with them, giving reassurance, until they have fully recovered.
8.Call for an ambulance if:
it is the person’s first seizure;
they have injured themselves badly;
they have trouble breathing after the seizure;
one seizure immediately follows another with no recovery in between;
the seizure lasts 2 minutes longer than is usual for them; or
the seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes and you don’t know how long their seizures usually last.
Please note timings may have changed due to changing medical guide lines so please consultant a medical professional or organisation for the latest up to date timings.
Source National society for Epilepsy.