By Daniel Hoch, PhD, MD Editor, AAN.com for Patients and Caregivers
The need to know basic first aid is one of those things we don't often think about until an emergency situation arises. Many people know how to clean and cover a simple cut or bruise and maybe even wrap an injured joint. But, specialized first aid is less widely taught and known.
For example, I'm often asked by my epilepsy patients' families how they should respond to their loved ones when they have a seizure.
While much of what I tell them is common sense—like keeping the person safe from self-injury—not every part of it is completely intuitive. For example, people do bite their tongues during a seizure, but there's nothing you can do about it, so don't try.
For that reason, I was pleased to read "Quick Tips: What to Do If Someone Has a Seizure" in a recent issue of Neurology Now®. Perhaps even more importantly, this article was written by a patient and her doctor.
In my work with online patient groups, I've often been struck by the disparity between the "official" guidelines or recommendations published by large advocacy organizations and the kinds of advice patients give to each other.
In our studies (summarized here), we found that the informal counsel of other patients was often more practical and useful. For this reason, I often encourage my patients to talk to each other and have occasionally collaborated with them to create advice for others.
I applaud Stacey Chillemi and my colleague, Dr. Orrin Devinsky, for their article in Neurology Now and encourage others to follow in their footsteps by sharing the practical wisdom they've gained through living with a neurologic disorder.
For more excellent information about seizures in general (albeit, not co-authored by patients and doctors) see our epilepsy content at AAN.Com for Patients or find other epilepsy-related resources at Neurology Now.
Quick Tips: What to Do If Someone Has a Seizure
After the Seizure: