Did you know it’s National Epilepsy Week?

Paramedics Tommy Watts and Simon Smith demonstrate what to do when someone has an epileptic seizure. Photo: Provided


Epilepsy Awareness SA held an educational talk at the Deutsche Internationale Schule (DSJ) in Parktown on 15 June in preparation for National Epilepsy Week from 21 to 27 June.

Epilepsy Awareness SA hosted the talk at the DSJ in order to educate both teachers and children about epilepsy and how to help someone who may have a seizure.

Medi Response was also present to show children and teachers what to do and what not to do in the event of a seizure.

Linda Dias Menezes, the co-founder of Epilepsy Awareness SA said there are often some misconceptions about epilepsy. “We highlight what epilepsy is because some people often think it is contagious as though it can be caught, like the flu, and that’s not true,” said Dias Menezes.

She said they have paramedics to demonstrate what to do if someone has a seizure. The talks also help highlight the different types of seizures one might have and how to react to them. For example, if a student has an absence seizure a teacher might think it is just a student not paying attention. However, Dias Menezes said that students and teachers are shown how to identify these.

“I was very surprised by their reaction; the students were amazing and really paid attention. So many students wanted to find out more about epilepsy,” she said.

Jamaine Krige, the spokesperson for Medi Response, said that the correct first aid can make a big difference. “It can be a very scary situation. However, what you don’t do, can be as important as what you do, do.”

For example, restraining someone who is having a seizure or putting something in their mouth can be dangerous. Krige said that it is important to identify any hazards for yourself and the person suffering from the seizure and to try and remove them. She also added that noticing when the seizure starts and ends can be useful information to a paramedic. A segment from the day will also be broadcast on SABC 2 on 21 June at 11.30am.

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Laura Pisanello

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