If you witness a pregnant woman having a seizure, the first step is to call 911. Afterwards, do the following until help arrives.
Epilepsy is a chronic brain disorder that affects millions of people around the world. The condition is characterized by seizures and can also cause muscle spasms, loss of consciousness, and confusion. Seizures occur when the brains’ electrical impulses misfire, sending abnormal signals to the nerve cells. People with epilepsy or who experience seizures have a difficult time especially when they occur in a public place. The problem is even more complex when the person having a seizure is a pregnant woman.
According to What To Expect, more than one million women in the U.S who are in the childbearing age are affected by epilepsy. Most people do not know how to react when watching someone having a seizure. Unfortunately, this can mean that people may end up making mistakes that can cost the woman her health or even the life of her unborn child. Most seizures are not an emergency but if you do not know what to do, the best thing is to call 911. There are things that you can do to help a pregnant woman who’s having a seizure.
Forget All The Myths
People who experience seizures face the risk of being injured by well-meaning but ignorant “helpers”. These are people who depend on misinformation and old wives’ tales to try to help individuals. If you see a pregnant woman having a seizure, do not rush to help if you do not know what to do.
Apart from ensuring that she is not lying on anything dangerous, do not try to stick hard objects in her mouth. According to Everyday Health, the tongue-swallowing myth is just that- a myth. It is not true that you need to prevent this from happening by sticking an object in her mouth. Many victims have ended up with broken teeth after a seizure.
Keep Her Comfortable
The sight of someone having a seizure can attract plenty of attention, but it is vital to keep people away from the victim. She needs as much air as possible and the truth is that no one wants to be a spectacle at a time like that. There is not much that you can do to stop the seizure once it begins.
It helps to know some basic first aid but you should strive to make sure that the woman is comfortable. The uncontrolled movement during a seizure can result in injury. Clear the area of sharp or hard objects that can harm the victim. Unbutton or loosen tight clothing around the neck and place something soft under her head.
Place Her On Her Side
It is important to place the victim on the floor, lying on her side, according to Brain & Life. This will help to ensure that her airway remains clear. Apart from breathing easier, this position is also safe for the baby. Ideally, a seizure should not last more than five minutes. Seizures vary in length and severity.
A mild seizure may last about 30 seconds and might not cause convulsions. Some seizures last two to five minutes and they can shake the entire body. The sight may be frightening but do not try to hold down the person experiencing the seizure. Trying to hold her down can cause an even more severe reaction.
How To Prevent Biting
When a person is experiencing a seizure, the jaw will often clamp shut and they may end up biting the tongue or lips. The only time that it may be acceptable to put something in the mouth to stop this is if her mouth is open (EilepsyU.com – We disagree with this. Never put anything in a persons mouth who is having a seizure. A medical professional can make that call if breathing is impacted when they arrive.). Once the jaw locks down, it is too late and you should not try to pry the mouth open as the biting has already occurred.
The force of the clenched jaw can be so severe that it can cause the teeth to rattle in the mouth. If possible, use something soft, like a wallet or folded cloth to prevent the biting. (EpilepsyU.com – Again, we disagree. Do not attempt to put anything in the mouth.) It is, however, important to ensure that she does not choke from the object.
When helping a pregnant woman who is having a seizure, it is important to remain calm. Do not panic as this may only cause you to do something that you should not do. Watching the convulsions is not easy but the fact is that once it begins, all you can do is wait for it to end. Just make sure that the woman is comfortable. Remember to call 911 and do the aforementioned steps as you wait for help to arrive.
ARTICLE SOURCE: babygaga.com by Simon Brooks