LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Seizure disorders are more common than people may think. Knowing what to do in the event one happens could be life changing.
Lake Charles Neurologist Dr. Reynard Odenheimer gave tips on what to do in case one happens when you’re around.
“Their mouth may clench and they may have foaming," Odenheimer said. "The saliva comes out of the mouth and their eyes may roll up and they may stiffen.”
Odenheimer says episodes may seem scary but the best thing a bystander can do is stay calm.
“They tend to get a fairly emotional response from observers but their usually fairly harmless," Odenheimer said.
Odenheimer says to lay a seizing individual on their side to help prevent choking.
“If there’s something in your mouth it rolls out rather than getting inhaled in your lungs," Odenheimer said. "Floor is a wonderful place. There’s no place for them to fall, if you have a pillow handy roll up a jacket or sweatshirt or something that their head can lay on. Move obstacles so that if there is jerking they don’t hurt themselves.”
It’s also important to realize there are seizures of different kinds. Lacy Manceaux’s daughter Ellie has epilepsy and shows symptoms that may differ from the public’s perception.
“Ellie doesn’t convulse when she has seizures so she doesn’t have your typical seizure that affects your entire body," Manceaux said. "It starts as a staring spell for her so it can be hard to distinguish.”
“Generally there will be a pause in their interaction with what’s going on around. They may stare or start smacking their lips making funny movements or twisting," Odenheimer said. "If it starts on a particular side sometimes there may be a rhythmic jerking movement which can progress.”
He said the most important things are to avoid injury and stay calm.