International Epilepsy Day 2021 – Monday 8th February
In Ireland, one in every 100 people suffer with Epilepsy. This amounts to 40,000 people living with Epilepsy in Ireland. Research conducted in January found that 87% of people underestimated how many people suffer with this condition. Many were unaware and assumed very few people experience it, when in fact it is quite common.
A few facts about seizures:
- They normally last approx. 2-3 Mins
- Tonic – Clonic seizures are when a person experiences a loss of consciousness
- A person can have a focal / partial seizure and be sitting or walking about, these are actually more common than Tonic Clonic seizures
What to do if someone in your company has a seizure:
- Time it. If the person hasn’t come out of their seizure within 5 minutes call an ambulance
- Keep them safe. Create a safe space by clearing the environment around them
- Keep them comfortable – place a jacket / blanket under their head
- Do Not Restrain or place anything in their mouth
- Stay with them – when they come around, they can feel tired and confused. Speak to them calmly and clearly and reassure them
- Place a person who has had a Tonic Clonic seizure in the recovery position
The hashtag used by Epilepsy Ireland is #TimeSafeStay – which is easy to remember if you are ever in a situation where someone has a seizure. Like our advice above – Time the seizure, keep them safe, and stay with them. Epilepsy Ireland is a fantastic resource of information and advice – well worth checking out, the knowledge could save somebody’s life one day.
It’s important to be aware of Epilepsy and seizures in the workplace too. There are some workplace posters from Epilepsy Ireland that explain the management really well. They could be a valuable source of information and are worth printing out for your workplace. Pop one on your staff notice board or beside the first aid station, or simply circulate on email. It could take your team 30 seconds to read but could help someone, and leaves us all a little bit more knowledgeable.
The 2021 International Epilepsy Day campaign is very clever. It features images of men and women that are slightly distorted or look as though they are on a computer screen that is loading or losing connection. Couldn’t be more current in these times where many of us are working from home and often struggling to connect online!
The message behind it is simple: an epileptic seizure is similar to a computer crashing or not responding. Generally, they only last for 2-3 minutes at most, and with time, care and attention, medical intervention is often not required. The images represent what seizure is like for the person, and what they are thinking while it is happening.
Such an eye-catching, thought-provoking campaign that has rightly captured a lot of attention. Making as many people as possible more aware about Epilepsy and seizures, and encouraging support online, in communities and in workplaces too.