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Microsoft word - epilepsy.doc

Epilepsy is the result of a temporary electrochemical imbalance within the regular mechanism of the brain.
A sudden overload of energy swamps the brain causing lapses of consciousness and seizures.
Cause: Usually a form of brain damage, however there are still unknown reasons today. Be aware that
anyone who has ever experienced a seizure, no matter how long ago and no matter what medication they
are taking, can experience another seizure at any time.
Riding a chair lift: People with a seizure history must use a climbing harness with triple stitched
retention strap attached to the chair lift via a carabineer. This will restrain the student in the event of a
seizure and help protect the instructor from being thrown from the chair by the student.
1.) Grand Mal seizure (most dramatic)
Symptoms: loss of consciousness can last a few seconds or a few minutes rigidity and jerking of
extremities swallowing impairment (foaming at mouth) bladder and/or bowel incontinence.
Protocol: Never place any object in student’s mouth during the seizure. Ask other skiers (viewers) to
please leave. Student may be embarrassed upon regaining consciousness with people around him. You
should also:
--Summon more advanced medical personnel.
--Do not try to stop the seizure or restrain the person.
--Protect the person from injury.
--Remove nearby hard obstacles and protect the victim's head.
--Manage the airway by rolling the person onto his or her side (recovery position). This
will keep the airway clear if there is any fluid such as saliva, blood, or vomit in the
victim's mouth. Do this only if you do not suspect neck or back injury.
--When the seizure is over, the person can be sleepy, drowsy or disoriented.
--Let the person sleep or rest. Be comforting and reassuring until more advanced
medical help arrives.
--Call Ski Patrol if needed. Report incident immediately to Day Supervisor and
2.) Petit Mal seizure (small absences)
Symptoms: blank stare, eyes rolling, eyes blink rapidly, eyes are stuck or fixed on an object.
Protocol: Ask student if he/she is experiencing any nausea, dizziness, fatigue, or double vision. Check
for understanding, then continue lesson. Be aware that a series of Petit Mal seizures can cause a Grand
Mal seizure.
3.) Psychomotor and Focal motor seizures
Symptoms: less frequent, less severe, usually partial jerking or tremble of an extremity, twitching of a
face muscle, confused staggering
Protocol: Rest. Check for fatigue or understanding. Continue lesson.
Medications: Anticonvulsant drugs: Phenobarbital, Dilantin, Klonopin, Tegretol, Sabril, Lamictal,Depakote, Neurontin (Gabapentin) Side effects of medications are: sun sensitivity, drowsiness, nausea, rash, dizziness, blurred vision, andlethargy.
Before you take a seizure prone student on the slopes ask time of last seizure occurrence. It mightinfluence your day because he/she may be lethargic.


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