What to record about a Seizure

Dr Vinay Goyal. MD, DM (AIIMS), FIAN, Director Neurology, Medanta NCR, Ex Professor Neurology, AIIMS

BRAND CONNECT
Published: Sep 8, 2020 12:53:03 PM IST
Updated: Sep 10, 2020 02:17:47 PM IST

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Everyone is a different individual and people react in different ways to their seizures and in how they recover. Some people cannot remember what happened to them during a seizure, some like to be talked to during their seizures and as they recover, and some need to sleep afterwards. Accurate recording of seizure descriptions by witnesses is an important part of managing a person’s epilepsy. There are no definitive diagnostic tests for epilepsy or for determining a particular seizure type. Therefore, doctors rely on accurate accounts and recording of frequency and severity of seizures, to:

  • Make a diagnosis
  • Guide treatment
  • Determine potential triggers
  • Differentiate different seizure types or new seizure presentations
A description of the seizures will assist the doctor in making a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. In addition to detailing the characteristics of the seizures, a record will also provide information regarding the frequency and duration of the seizures. It may also help to identify any consistent seizure triggers. The questions below may help you to find out as much as possible about their epilepsy and how best to help them.

Before the seizure

  • How did the seizure start?
  • When the seizure started, was the person awake or asleep?
  • Was the person restless or did they cry out before the seizure started?
  • Was there any trigger for the seizure (such as feeling tired or stressed)?
  • What was the position of person when the seizure happened? For example, standing, lying on front, lying on back, lying on side, or sitting?
  • Was there any change in muscle tone?
  • Did the person fall down and, if so, forwards or backwards?
  • Was there any change in the breathing pattern?
  • Was there any change in their facial color?
  • Was there any movement, such as jerking or twitching?
  • How long did the seizure last?
  • Did the person experience weakness, fatigue, confusion, and/or headache?
  • Was there injury as a result of the seizure?

During the seizure

  • Was there any change in muscle tone?
  • Did the person fall down and, if so, forwards or backwards?
  • Was there any change in the breathing pattern?
  • Was there any change in their facial color?
  • Was there any movement, such as jerking or twitching?
  • How long did the seizure last?

After the seizure

  • Did the person experience weakness, fatigue, confusion, and/or headache?
  • Was there injury as a result of the seizure?

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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