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Head Trauma and Epileptic Seizures

    One less talked about result of a severe head trauma are seizures. A seizure is a strong electrical surge to the brain. When seizures become chronic, the medical condition is called epilepsy. Generally, the risk for epilepsy is greater with a serious head wound. Additionally, the link between head injury and epilepsy is not always that clear, as you could suffer head trauma from a car accident and not have a seizure for months or even years. That is precisely what makes this condition so insidious.

    Although seizures and epilepsy are somewhat mysterious, medical professionals routinely strive to find the specific cause. Successful identification of etiology improves the diagnosis, the treatment regimen, and the prognosis. Obviously, when you know what you are dealing with, you are better equipped to fight it. However, whenever it is not possible to identify the underlying cause, epilepsy is described by seizure type or referred to as “epilepsy syndrome.”


    The type of seizures one has as a result of a trauma are referred to as symptomatic seizures; they are a symptom of a serious injury. When genetics is suspected as the cause, the seizures are referred to as primary seizures. And, when there is no obvious cause for the condition, it is referred to as cryptogenic seizures.

    What To Do When Someone Has A Seizure

    Perhaps because seizures/epilepsy have historically been mysterious, many people simply do not know what to do when they witness someone having a seizure. For example, an old wives’ tale used to advise individuals to stick a spoon in the affected person’s mouth to keep him from swallowing his tongue. WRONG. When a person
    is having a seizure sticking ANY object in his mouth can be downright dangerous to him. In fact, the smart thing to do is to remove any objects from the area that could be harmful.

    Never attempt to restrain the individual. In an effort to help, by restraining him you could injure him. Rather, just cushion his head to help him avoid any trauma. Also, remember that a seizure must wind down on its own. So, do not try to “snap the person out of it.” The seizure must run its course, and that kind of interference also can be dangerous.

    What you can do is stay with that person until the seizure has ended. Try to be as calm as possible, and make certain he has recovered. Remember also that for some people, epilepsy carries with it an irrational stigma. Try to be reassuring, and if a crowd should begin to gather, try to disperse them. No one going through a seizure wants an audience.

    Often people suffering from seizures/epilepsy know what to do after an episode. However, if you suspect this is the person’s first seizure, seek medical assistance. In the event that the individual suffers one seizure after another, or he is injured during the seizure, call an ambulance.

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