Seizures - temporary impairment of brain function, manifested by paroxysmal involuntary contractions of muscles and accompanied by disorders of perception, psyche and life support functions( digestive, excretory and other systems).
There are tonic, clonic and tonic-clonic seizures, depending on the nature of muscle contractions. Depending on the degree of generalization, there are local and general( actually generalized) seizures of central genesis. Local convulsions occur during focal stimulation of individual motor centers of the cerebral cortex on the side opposite to that part of the body in which convulsions occur.
Causes of convulsive syndrome.
Various diseases of the central nervous system - meningitis and encephalitis, epilepsy( see epileptic seizure), traumatic brain injury, tumors, edema, brain abscesses, subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Convulsive syndrome may occur with certain chemical intoxications( for example, lead poisoning), severe infectious diseases( eg, tetanus, severe influenza
In children, convulsive syndrome occurs much more often due to the immaturity of various brain structures and the center of thermoregulation. The most common cause of convulsive syndrome in children is hyperthermia.
Local convulsions most often occur with tumors or hematomas of the brain, aneurysms of the brain vessels.
Tonic, clonic or tonic-clonic convulsions.
Clonic convulsions are a sequential contraction of flexor and extensor muscles, which looks like rapid involuntary limb and torso movements. Tonic convulsions - prolonged permanent contraction of muscles in the position of flexion or extension, as a result of which the patient's body is stretched, the head is thrown back or bent in the neck. In tonic-clonic seizures, the clonic and tonic phases of the convulsive attack alternate.
At the beginning of a seizure, a person may be conscious( except for an epileptic fit).
Presence of symptoms of the underlying disease that caused seizures:
- With encephalitis or meningitis, hyperthermia, vomiting, headache, irritability, photophobia, unusual behavior. There may be a skin rash and tension in the muscles of the occipital region.
- In a hysterical fit, consciousness is partially retained, there is no uncontrolled drop in the patient and, as a rule, there is a long duration of seizures( 10 to 30 min).
- In tetanus, convulsions usually start suddenly with contraction of the facial muscles followed by generalization against a background of general malaise.
- With epilepsy there is an aura( complex of sensations preceding convulsions), an attack is usually accompanied by the release of foam from the mouth, involuntary urination and defecation;after cramps the patient does not remember what happened.
First aid for cramps.
Keep calm, calm the surrounding.
To be next to the patient, to monitor his condition in order to provide the necessary assistance in time.
Lay patient on his side or, if possible, turn his head to his side.
Put a pillow under your head( folded jacket, jacket, sheet) to reduce possible head trauma.
Try to ensure that there are no sharp and protruding objects nearby, as the patient can get injured during an attack of seizures.
Unfasten the collar of the patient's shabby clothing, ensure fresh air.
Immediately call an ambulance.
With hyperthermia, provide appropriate care.
Avoid noise and bright light in the room. They can provoke a convulsive attack.
After completion of seizures, provide patient peace.
At the end of the cramps, help a patient who is aware of his illness to take medication, which he usually carries with him.
What can not be done with cramps.
- Leaving the patient alone.
- Transfer the patient, if this is not absolutely necessary.
- Give the patient to eat or drink.
- Restrain the patient with cramps - this can trigger a new seizure, and lead to injuries.
- Do not unclamp the jaws to avoid injury.
- It is better not to insert any objects between the jaws of the patient - convulsive syndrome is often accompanied by vomiting, and then an accidental ingestion of this object or damage to the oral cavity may occur.
- Do artificial respiration during cramps.