What is Epilepsy? And Seizure First Aid

May 16, 2013

More than three million people in the United States suffer from epilepsy at an estimated cost of 15.5 billion annually. In the United States, more than 300,000 people with epilepsy are under the age of 14 and more than 500,000 are over the age of 65. Here in Florida, where I reside, 360,000 Floridians suffer from epilepsy. “What is epilepsy?” Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that produces sudden brief surges of electrical energy in the brain. These episodes, called seizures, may alter a person’s awareness, movements or actions for a few seconds or minutes.

Anyone can have a seizure if the brain is stressed by infection, fever, injury, lack of oxygen or poisoning. Seizures that happen more than once for no apparent reason are defined as EPILEPSY. Epilepsy is sometimes called a seizure disorder and it can begin at anytime in one’s life. Would you be able to tell if you or someone is having a seizure?

What Should I Do When Someone Has a Seizure?

1. Remain Calm and ask others around you to do the same. Often those having the seizure can hear what is going on around them and can find it very comforting to hear that they will be okay and that they are not alone.

2. Look to see if the person has some type of medic alert bracelet or a necklace. If you are unaware if the individual has epilepsy then call 9-11.

3. Do not restrain the individual or put anything in their mouth as this can do more harm than good.

4. Lay the individual on his or her side to help clear the airways as this helps prevent aspiration in case vomiting occurs.

5. Protect their head by putting something soft between the individual’s head and the floor.

6. Time the length of the seizure if you can. This is important information for the doctors, and if you can video tape the seizure this also is extremely helpful for doctors.

7. When the individual comes out of the seizure, be comforting, supportive and reassuring them. They will most likely have no recollection of what just occurred, and you may need to tell them where they are and what time it is.

It is so important to learn all you can about epilepsy and seizures, as most people think of a seizure as a person falling on the ground with their body moving out of control. This is just one type of seizure called a tonic-clonic (or grand mal)– but in reality their are many different types of seizures.

For more information on epilepsy and seizures and to learn about the possible activities and foods that trigger them please visit the Epilepsy Warriors website at and remember we are here to help you make this journey as easy as possible. It can be challenging, but we are committed to supporting you as best we can as our mission is: To Empower, To Thrive, To Prevent, Control and Cure!

courtyardAbout Susan Noble and the Epilepsy Warriors

As President and Founder of the Epilepsy Warriors, Susan Noble is striving to reach as many people within the local communities to help educate and bring an end to the stigma of epilepsy. It takes team work. It involves supporting each other in all efforts. It means showing the world that epilepsy is worth researching, fighting for and funding. We are all fighting for a CURE for our children and those “living with epilepsy” every day. We are a new foundation– one with a passionate vision. This vision will light our path and guide us towards our goals of “enlightening, empowering and curing.”

Susan and her family reside in Fort Myers, Florida otherwise known as her little slice of paradise.

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