The challenges of parenting are heightened when your child has epilepsy. This condition causes people to have reoccurring and unprovoked seizures. Epilepsy can occur at any age, but 50 percent of cases start before the age of 10.
Many seizures happen without warning and are over very quickly. These episodes do not last very long and do not always require immediate medical attention. However, there are times when you need to call an ambulance. Read on to find out how EMT services can help a child with epilepsy.
Make Sure Airways Are Not Blocked
When the paramedics arrive, epilepsy patients are usually in the postictal phase. This phase is the recovery stage of a seizure. The patient might also be in an altered state of consciousness. The postictal stage usually lasts from five to 30 minutes, but it can last longer, depending of the severity of your child's condition.
The paramedics must make sure your child's airways are not being blocked. If needed, they will assist with ventilation and administer oxygen. The paramedic will also do a waveform capnography. This test measures how much carbon dioxide is exhaled after each breath. It also gives continuous feedback on the upper airway, which helps with determining what medicine to administer at the hospital.
Stop The Seizure
It is important for the paramedics to stop the seizure. If your child is seizing upon the arrival of the ambulance, then paramedics must assume that he or she is in status epilepticus. Status epilepticus is when a seizure lasts five minutes or more.
At this point, paramedics must forego administering ventilation and oxygen. If you allow the seizure to go on too long, then your child could suffer permanent brain damage. A seizure that lasts longer than five minutes is unlikely to stop without intervention. Your paramedic will administer benzodiazepine to stop the seizure.
Prevent Respiratory Compromise
If a seizure makes your child lose consciousness, then there is the possibility of compromising their respiratory system. Losing consciousness affects their respiratory system in a variety of ways, such as loss of upper airway reflexes, respiratory depression and respiratory arrest. The waveform capnography is a reliable tool for determining respiratory compromise. This information is necessary to make sure your child's breathing is not impaired.
The job of an emergency medical technician is more complex than taking a patient to the hospital. It requires EMTs to be very knowledgeable about medical care. EMTs have saved many patients' lives because of knowing how to treat their condition. For more information on the services that EMTs can provide, contact an EMT service like Global Medical & Safety.