Though March 26, 2017 is officially National Epilepsy Awareness Day, tomorrow is the day to show your support! On March 25, 2017, people, clad in purple, will walk to raise funds to support the 3 million Americans, including their friends and family, living with seizures. Epilepsy awareness also seeks to financially bolster new and innovative research. Among the exciting treatments backed by funded research is a new form of intravenous anti-epilepsy medication; this treatments has shown great promise in infants born with seizures.
In addition to financial support, advocates seek to support the epilepsy community through education. As in the name, Epilepsy Awareness Day is about raising awareness about those with the condition. For instance, advocacy efforts include making sure people with epilepsy are not discriminated against and that national health care reform properly covers people with seizures. Along with influencing health care reform, epilepsy awareness educates first responders around the country. In doing so, the public becomes equipped to identify seizures from behaviors that could be a result of drugs or alcohol.
Unite with thousands of others across the country in caring and supporting those with epilepsy. Represent the cause by wearing purple, donating, participating in a walk. You also show support when you learn and understand epilepsy. In the event that someone you know has a seizure, keep in mind the following dos and don’ts.
What to Do and What Not to Do When Someone Has a Seizure
- Loosen clothing around the person’s neck.
- Do not try to hold the person down or restrain them. This can result in injury.
- Do not insert any objects in the person’s mouth. This can also cause injury.
- Reassure concerned bystanders who may be upset and ask them to give the person room.
- Remove sharp objects (glasses, furniture, and other objects) from around the person to prevent injury.
- After the seizure, it is helpful to lay the person on their side to maintain an open airway and prevent the person from inhaling any secretions.
- After a seizure, the person may be confused and should not be left alone.
- In many cases, especially if the person is known to have epilepsy, it is not necessary to call 911.
- Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, or if another seizure begins soon after the first, or if the person cannot be awakened after the movements have stopped. If you are concerned that something else may be wrong, or the person has another medical condition such as heart disease or diabetes, you should contact a doctor immediately.
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