Seizures occur when the brain releases an abnormal, chaotic discharge of electricity. Some seizures can cause convulsions and/or altered mental status.
Seizures may cause a variety of injuries. In the most serious cases, a patient can suffer brain damage or death from not getting enough oxygen to the brain during the seizure. Patients may also suffer injuries while they are convulsing – for example, from falling to the ground, banging against objects while convulsing, or from being restrained.
Seizures can have many causes, including epilepsy; high fever; head trauma; brain tumor; stroke; certain medications; and infection, like meningitis.
In many cases, seizures can be controlled with medications. It is very important that anti-seizure medications be administered correctly, reliably, and on time. Missing even one dosage can lead to seizure activity.
In a nursing home, the staff should be trained on how to handle a seizure – for example, by:
- Ensuring compliance with anti-seizure medication regimens
- Calling 911 immediately
- Padding and removing obstacles from around a seizing patient
- Turning the person on their side, if possible
- Not giving anything to eat or drink
- Checking the person’s blood sugar levels and providing supplemental oxygen if needed
If you need support or have any questions, please contact us for immediate assistance.
Schacter, Steven; Shafer, Patricia; and Sirven, Joseph. March 2014. “Treating Seizures and Epilepsy.” Epilepsy Foundation. Available at http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy