Today is Purple Day! Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. On March 26th annually, people in countries around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. Last year, people in dozens of countries on all continents including Antarctica participated in Purple Day!
Did you know?!?!
- 50 Million people have epilepsy world wide
- There are approximately 2.2 million Americans living with epilepsy.
- It is estimated that 1 in 100 people have epilepsy
- In 50% of cases the cause is unknown
- Epilepsy is NOT contagious. Epilepsy is NOT a disease. Epilepsy is NOT a psychological disorder.
- There is currently no “cure” for epilepsy. However, for 10-15% of people with epilepsy, the surgical removal of the seizure focus – the part of brain where the person’s seizures start – can eliminate all seizure activity. For more than half of people with epilepsy, medication will control their seizures. Additionally, some children will outgrow their epilepsy and some adults may have a spontaneous remission.
- Not everyone can identify specific events or circumstances that affect seizures, but some are able to recognize definite seizure triggers.
Some common triggers include:
- Forgetting to take prescribed seizure medication
- Lack of sleep
- Missing meals
- Stress, excitement, emotional upset
- Illness or fever
- Low seizure medication levels
- Medications other than prescribed seizure medication
- Flickering lights of computers, television, videos, etc., and sometimes even bright sunlight
First aid for seizures is simple:
- Stay calm.
- Time the seizure – Usually there is no need for a trip to the hospital, unless the seizure lasts longer than five minutes (not including the postictal phase), the person has more than one seizure in a row, or if a person is injured, pregnant, or has diabetes.
- Remove objects that may cause harm - clear the area of sharp or dangerous objects.
- Do not hold the person down or restrain their movement.
- Do not put anything in the person’s mouth: it is not possible for someone to swallow their tongue.
- Turn the person on his or her side as the seizure ends to allow saliva or other fluids to drain away and keep airway clear.
- Do not offer food or drink until the person is fully alert.
- Stay with the person until they are fully alert and thinking clearly. Reassure the person when consciousness returns.