The Dangers of Seizures

By Evie, Maya, Emily, Katey, Sascha, and Christine

What is a seizure?

Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical occurrences in the brain. In a healthy brain, electrical and chemical signals are sent through the brain to help think. Seizures occur when the electrical system malfunctions and sends electrical currents throughout the brain. Seizures often affect a person's vision, movement, speech, or awareness.

Symptoms and Signals of a Seizure

If a person is having a seizure they may have some of these symptoms:

  • Change of level in consciousness
  • Jerking of head and limbs
  • Urinating and defecating
  • Person may cry out
  • Become rigid
  • Hold their breath
  • Eyes may roll up
  • Muscles slacking

Dangers of a Seizure

Some include:

  • 1.6-3 times higher risk of dying early
  • Choking on Vomit
  • Brain injury
  • Seizures can occur one after another
  • Bleeding into the brain
  • SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy)

What to Do

When someone is having a seizure there isn't anything you can do to prevent it, but you can help.

  • Roll them on their side (prevents choking on vomit)
  • Elevate their head
  • Do not try to hold down the person, this may cause an injury such as dislocation
  • After the seizure, clear the mouth of saliva and vomit

What May Cause It

Besides the brain getting electrical currents through a disease called epilepsy, seizures can be developed through other causes.

  • Brain Tumor
  • Perisylvian Syndrom
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Stroke
  • Sleep walking
Including these, there are at least 75 causes for seizures that are not epilepsy.