Estimated to affect over 500,00 people within the UK alone, epilepsy is an illness affecting the brain and causing repeated seizures, otherwise known as an epileptic fit.
What happens during an epileptic fit
Conducting electrical signals, brain cells known as neurons communicate with other neurons by using chemical messengers. During an epileptic fit, electrical impulses are fired off by these neurons in abnormal bursts, causing strange behaviour in sufferers’ brains and bodies.
Types of epileptic fit
There are several different types of seizures, each with slightly different symptoms. Detailed information on seizure types and symptoms is available through the previous hyperlink, but symptoms often include convulsions, loss of balance, or loss of consciousness.
Treating someone having an epileptic fit
Typically lasting no more than a few minutes, seizures can lead to personal injuries. Preventing accidental injuries is therefore the main objective of providing first aid. To help someone having a seizure, you should therefore:
- Stay calm
- Cushion their head with a coat, blanket or other soft material
- Remove any nearby potentially dangerous or harmful objects
- Once convulsions have ceased, place them into the recovery position until fully recovered
- Stay with them until consciousness is regained
Never restrain or attempt to move a person having a seizure or attempt to put anything into their mouth, unless there is immediate danger, as this could result in injuries to them or you.
Calling an ambulance is not usually necessary. You should, however, call 999 if:
- Seizures last longer than five minutes
- Multiple seizures are suffered without recovery in between
- It is the sufferer’s first seizure
- The sufferer has breathing problems, is injured, requires medical attention for any other reason or exhibits unsafe behaviour
Likely triggers of an epileptic fit
Seizures can be set of by certain triggers, which may differ between sufferers. Common triggers include stress, lack of sleep, tiredness and alcohol. Flickering or flashing lights, and patterns can also trigger seizures, which is why entertainment venues are required to warn people of the use of rapidly flashing lights.
Your right to claim
Entertainment venues have a legal duty to prevent personal injuries on their premises. This means preventing seizures and resulting injuries as much as it means preventing slips, trips and falls. If you were not warned about flashing lights and subsequently sustained an injury while having a seizure, you could be entitled to personal injury compensation, just like you would if you were injured by slipping, tripping or falling.
Get in touch with us, Accident Advice Helpline now to learn more about claiming for compensation. Call 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, or 0800 689 0500 from landlines.
Date Published: April 6, 2016
Author: Accident Advice