Purple Day for Epilepsy 2023: How To Deal With The Seizures

Globally, 50 million people are estimated to have epilepsy, and nearly 80 per cent of the patients live in low- and middle-income countries. In India, there are more than 10 million patients with epilepsy, accounting for 20 per cent of the global count. Purple Day is an international awareness day dedicated to raising awareness about epilepsy and reducing the stigma surrounding this neurological disorder. Observed annually on March 26th, the aim of Purple Day is to encourage people to learn more about epilepsy, recognize the signs of a seizure, and support those living with this condition.

Dr. Ravindra Srivastava, Director, Neurosciences, Primus Superspeciality Hospital, says, “By coming together to raise awareness and support those affected by epilepsy, we can help improve the lives of millions of people around the world.”

On Purple Day for Epilepsy 2023, Dr. Srivastava explains what epilepsy is and how one can deal with the seizures caused by it.

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that affects the brain’s ability to transmit electrical impulses. These disruptions can cause seizures, which can be mild or severe and can affect various parts of the body. Epilepsy is a lifelong condition, and while it can be managed with medication, it cannot be cured. Some people may outgrow their epilepsy, while others may have it for their entire lives.

What are seizures?

Seizures are the primary symptom of epilepsy. They occur when there is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. The symptoms of a seizure can vary widely depending on the type and severity of the seizure. Some people experience a brief loss of awareness or consciousness, while others have convulsions and lose control of their limbs.

Medically intractable epilepsy

Medically intractable epilepsy is a severe form of epilepsy that cannot be controlled with medication. People with this type of epilepsy may experience multiple seizures per day, which can severely impact their quality of life. Treatment options for medically intractable epilepsy may include surgery or implantable devices that can help regulate brain activity.

Seizure first aid

What should we do if we witness someone having a seizure? According to Dr. Srivastava, we need to stay calm and take the following steps:

Keep the person safe: Clear the area around the person to prevent injury. Remove any sharp or hard objects that could cause harm.
Protect the person’s head: If possible, place something soft, like a jacket or pillow, under the person’s head to cushion it.
Turn the person on their side: If the person is lying down, turn them onto their side to help prevent choking.
Time the seizure: Note the time when the seizure began and how long it lasts. This information can be helpful in treatment.
Do not restrain the person: Do not try to restrain the person or put anything in their mouth during the seizure.
Stay with the person: Once the seizure has ended, stay with the person until they are fully alert and oriented.

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