Terms and definitions help paramedics know what to do for epileptics.


When you have epilepsy it’s extremely important to have an epilepsy bracelet so people know about your seizure disorder in case of an emergency. Adding to your tag your seizures medications will help avoid drug interactions.
Not all seizures are life threatening and only last for a short time. In these cases it's helpful to explain this on the tag to avoid unnecessary calls to 911.

Your plate might read:
EPILEPSY: ON CARBATROL
ABSENCE SEIZURES
or
EPILEPSY
PARTIAL SEIZURES
911 ONLY IF INJURY
ON LAMICTAL

 

What causes epilepsy?

The brain is the source of epilepsy because that is where the electrical events are that procure the physical or mental effects. The location of that episode, how it spreads, and which part(s) of the brain are affected, and how long it lasts all have unique effects. These factors determine what type of seizure it is and how it will affect the individual.

There are also some risk factors to developing epilepsy both as a child and an adult. A few of those include babies having abnormal brain growth or that are small for their age, having abnormal blood vessels within the brain, serious brain injury, brain tumors, or a stroke that results in a blocked artery in the brain.  
 
Some people with epilepsy, though, don’t have any above of the risk factors mentioned. The risks, while they explain many cases, don’t cover all of them and for some people there is no precise cause to their disease.
 
About 7 out of 10 people with epilepsy are treated successfully using drug therapy to treat their recurrent seizures.


Why Epilepsy Bracelets help in an emergency

Because seizures can happen anywhere and at any time while shopping, walking or driving a car and when you least expect them – a medical ID bracelet often is the only way of communication between you and a medical team, police or passers-by in a time of crisis.

If you’ve had a seizure, having other health issues or are in some accident and can’t speak for yourself, you can feel safe knowing that any vital medical information is safely around your wrist and on an epilepsy bracelet.

First responders, such as paramedics, may only have seconds to determine what they can and cannot do to help you. Having all necessary information at such easy access will assure all critical medical data is factored into the proper care being rendered at the emergency scene.

Epilepsy basics:

Epilepsy is a chronic disease involving recurrent unprovoked seizures and currently affects over two million Americans. It is a spectrum disorder, meaning that it encompasses a wide range of seizure types as well as how much it affects each person who has it. No two people have exactly the “same” epilepsy as the other. There are many different types of seizures that someone can have but they all are put into one of two categories:

1. Primary Generalized Seizures

These seizure types begin with an electrical discharge through both of the brain’s hemispheres. Some examples of PGS’s include the following:
 
Grand Mal Seizure (Tonic-Clonic Seizure): This type of seizure involves characteristics of both tonic and clonic seizures, as the name suggests, which means that manifestations from the seizure would look like: muscles stiffening and biting of the tongue or lip, followed by jerking of the extremities for one to three minutes. When the body begins to relax there may be a loss of control of the bladder and bowel and soon the person regains consciousness. 
 

2. Secondarily Generalized Seizures

These seizures are called secondarily generalized because they begin as partial seizures (one area of the brain) and gradually progress into a generalized (both sides of the brain). These seizures occur in almost one third of people who have partial seizures.
 
Partial Seizures: These seizure types begin with electrical discharge in one specific area of the brain. Some examples of partial seizures include the following:
 
Simple Partial Seizures: These are seizures that are categorized by the body system they affect. Different types include motor seizures that change muscle activity, sensory seizures that change one of the five senses, autonomic seizures that cause a change in a part of the nervous system that controls bodily functions, and psychic seizures that change how people think, feel, or experience things.
 
Complex Partial Seizures: These seizures usually start in a small area of the temporal or frontal lobe and then quickly spread to other areas of the brain that affect alertness and awareness. This seizure can erase memory right before or after the episode which makes people not realize it happened. They can also sit blankly staring, moving their mouth, picking at clothing, making noises, or sometimes walking around and doing something.