Continuing Professional Development: Seizures in the prehospital setting

OverviewSeizures are a common occurrence in the prehospital arena, however, with numerous conditions causing seizures prehospital clinicians can be left with a dilemma in the treatment of these patients. Patients who are actively seizing will predominately have their airway maintained, oxygen administered and therapeutic intervention (diazepam) initiated. One form of seizure, non-epileptic attack disorder or psychogenic seizures, are often called ‘pseudo’ seizures an acronym synonymous in the ambulance service, this gives connotations that the patient is ‘faking it’, however, these patients often have deep psychological trauma that needs careful handling and empathy.Learning OutcomesAfter completing this module you will be able to:▪ Have an understanding of the pathophysiology of epilepsy in relation to prehospital care▪ Recognize the importance of completing a full set of observations and taking a full history in a post-ictal or seizing patient▪ Potentially be able to recognise the differences between epileptic and non-epileptic seizures▪ Understand the pharmacology of drugs given in prehospital care

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