Yesterday my friend had an epileptic seizure.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Jack, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    So we were rehearsing for the Christmas concert at my school yesterday. My band had been on, and there was an act involving five of my good friends. They were doing a Queen medley in drag. (Me and my friends are 16/17)

    One of them, Dan, is epileptic. Its never been caused by bright lights before so he didn't even think about going on stage. After about 5 mins of the performance it got to the line "Turning inside out" (Don't Stop Me Now) and he turned around 180 degrees. I was thinking "that's not supposed to happen, hes goofing off" but after he turned he fell backwards onto the stage stairs (landing on his head) and then bounced onto the floor.

    Mark (on stage) jumped down and grabbed him, put him in the recovery position. I ran from the crowd and supported his head (hurt like hell, he was having STRONG convulsions on a wood floor). The guy I was sitting next to kept him rolled over so Mark could keep in the recovery position and Glen (on stage) ripped off his top and placed in under Dan's head, giving my hands a break. I think we reacted quite well, its the 70 other people in the hall (many of his close friends) that just stood and watched.

    After the paramedics left, the head of our year said "Well done lads, you re all heroes." Micheal just turned and said "What we did was normal, its the people that just stood and watched their friend that you need to speak to."

    He's right. Its not like any of us 4 had any medical training, none of us had ever even seen an epileptic seizure before, let alone dealt with one. When it happens on TV, everyone rushes to help, people need to be told "Get back, let him breathe". None of that here. :scowl:

    Guess this is more of a rant than a story. I do feel pretty good about what we did, but there were many adults there who had basic first aid at least, and his initial recovery was left to the only people that dared help our friend. :(

    Thanks for reading this long post.
  2. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    kudos to you jack, well done!
  3. Good for you Jack. The world could use a few more people like you.

    (but) Don't be to down on the people who didn't help. Some people get scared and simply don't react quick to a situation like that. It's doesn't mean they all lack compassion and would not have helped, just some react well to situations better than others.
  4. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    Just for the record, I didnt start this thread to get praise. (feels good though, thanks guys! :p )

    Im not really down on the people who didnt help, just bothers me that they did NOTHING, walking over and being a nuisance is better than nothing. Good thing I want be a doctor I guess? :D

    I just re-read my first post and it does seem awfully negative, didnt mean for it to turn out that way.
    Well, a little
  5. AuG


    May 22, 2005
    Fort Collins, CO
    I watched two people have a seizure, one of whom was my step brother. Both happened in school. The first one was a girl I had a computer class with in 5th grade, not much I could do for her since I was working on the comp. and didn't notice her symptoms since I was across the room. Even if I wanted to help I wouldn't have been allowed by the teacher, who was the first to respond. Apparently it was a mild seizure, not much shaking but a lot of unconciousness and rolled eyes back in the sockets. Scary stuff.

    The second one I witnessed was in Highschool in Math class. My step bro (who wasn't even my bro at the time; our parents hadn't met yet) just fell out of his chair in the middle of a projector presentation and started convulsing on the ground. Again I was across the room, but I ran up to the intercom and paged the office to send an ambulance for him, while other people were helping him keep his head from hitting the ground and further injuring himself. The weird thing is that after about 2 minutes he stopped, sat up straight and tried to get up. Once he got to his knee he started the vomiting, which caused one girl to run out of the classroom, presumably to go throw up herself. They ended up bringing in a wheelchair and wheeling him out (he's a big guy, about 6'6" and 260, even heavier back then). I still remember the look on his face while he left, it was almost serene. Peaceful, if you will.

    Scary stuff indeed. :(

  6. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    you should actually be thankful the everyone didn't try to help. You'd have a lot of people who don't know what they are doing in the way.
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    And they may know what to do next time this happens. :help:

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    You have done good. :)
  9. its true...the fact is, if even 20 people tried to help, 18 of them would just be standing around. You really can't stop a seizure, you just have to let it run out. the best thing you can do is just make sure they don't do things like bite their tongue off, fall off stage, hit their head (good thinking jack!) and stuff like that.
  10. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Oh lord, ain't that the truth. How about all the folks who believe the old wives tale about epileptics swallowing their tongue? I can't tell you how many seizure calls I ran on where the patient ends up with a jaw injury because some 'helpful' person wedged something into their mouth during the seizure.

    People don't really swallow their tongues. Even with major grand mal seizures, they STILL don't swallow their tongues. But the DO frequently clamp their jaw down very tightly, If you stick something in their mouth(The funniest one was a drumstick.A Vic Firth 5A) you WILL break their teeth. You MAY break their jaw. At the minimum, you'll cause trauma inside their mouth. And they won't be happy when they wake up.

    It's like if someone said that bashing people on the head somehow prevents them being struck ny meteors, I'm fairly sure that the sudden multitude of skull fracture patients wouldn't be hugely grateful for having been protected from something that was actually a danger to them by receiving an actuall injury.

    Sorry. Paramedic rant. I'll stop now.
  11. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    What exactly is the "recovery position" Jack? I have had a couple seizures in the past (not due to epilepsy though) and it would be good information to know.
  12. i heard that you are supposed to stick something in their mouth so they don't bite off part of their this true?
  13. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Don't. Most seizures end quickly. They will bite their tongue. It's just going to happen. Actually by the time you see them falling over, they have already bitten it. But very rarely would they bite it over and over again. Mostly the jaw clamps down and stays that way. So to 'protect them' the way the old wives tale says to, you actually add an injury to the problems they are dealing with from the siezure.

    For seizures that don't end quickly, let the ambulance crew medicate the patient. Don't go stuffing things in their mouth.

    I can't tell you how many people have stuck their fingers into someones mouth to 'protect' them while they are having a seizure. And now I have two patients. One who is recovering from the seizure he finished before my ambulance arrived, and one who got the end of his finger bitten off. Fortunately I personally have only seen that twice. But I've heard about it waaaay too often.

    Jack did it exactly right. Protect their head. Keep them from bashing their head on the ground/floor/surface they've fallen on. Watch to see when they start breathing again (Grand mal seizures typically take away your respiratory drive while the seizure is going on.When it's over they should start breathing again)Put them on their side so they can drool out the saliva that has just collected in their mouth, and not aspirate it.(You produce a lot of saliva, normally, but usually you don't just let it build up. People having seizures do let theirs build up. And then when they start breathing again they may inhale it. That;s bad You don't want that to happen.)
  14. aha...i learned something today!
  15. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    This is the recovery position.

    Although he wasnt unconscious, Mark did think he would swallow his toungue (I hadnt heard of this, but had no reason to doubt it, until now. Thanks Bard.) And I knew about the build-up of saliva, so this position seemed sensible to us. Lets saliva drip out, opens lungs for person to breathe etc.