Epilepsy Awareness Month | Episode 035

Episode summary introduction:

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where the brain activity becomes abnormal, this causes seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness. There are many different types of epilepsy, and several types of seizure that epileptic patients can have, but we will get into those a little later. There are several different causes of epilepsy: genetic, head trauma (TBI), conditions that cause damage to the brain - like strokes/tumors, infectious diseases - like meningitis or AIDs, prenatal injury, or developmental disorders like autism or neurofibromatosis.

Topic 1:

Types of Epilepsy; Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain. Absence seizures, sometimes called petit mal seizures, can cause rapid blinking or a few seconds of staring into space. Tonic-Clonic seizures such as focal seizures are located in just one area of the brain. These seizures are also called partial seizures. They include Simple focal seizures, Complex focal seizures, Secondary generalized seizures begin in one part of the brain, but then spread to both sides of the brain. Seizures may last as long as a few minutes.

Topic 2:

Diagnostic testing and treatments are discussed. Please reference websites below.

Topic 3:

Research from studying seizures during a women's menstrual cycles, neurostimulators, Continuous stimulation, and advancements in surgeries to help treat epilepsy.


As a nurse, patient or family member, it is important to basic first aid and safety for those who suffer from seizures.

  1. STAY with the person and start timing the seizure.

  2. Keep the person SAFE.

  3. Turn the person onto their SIDE if they are not awake and aware.

  4. Do NOT put any objects in their mouth.

  5. Do NOT restrain.

  6. STAY with them until they are awake and alert after the seizure.

Call 911 if

  • Seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes

  • Repeated seizures

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Seizure occurs in water

  • Person is injured, pregnant, or sick

  • Person does not return to their usual state

  • First time seizure

  • The person asks for medical help

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Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP)

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