Seizure Disorders

A seizure may be defined as episodes of abnormal motor, autonomic or psychic activity as a consequence of sudden, excessive electrical discharge from cerebral neurons. Petit mal seizure is a brief suspension of activity; pychomotor is automatic motor activity or a complex alterations of behavior. Grand mal is a generalized motor seizure.

Persons with a seizure disorder appear and function like persons without the disorder, but may experience memory dysfunction. Educationally, persons with a seizure disorder can expect to perform well in school as long as the seizures are controlled and there is not a serious memory dysfunction.

A student exhibiting a seizure disorder could have difficulty in one or more of the following areas:

  • Brief lapses of consciousness which disrupt the learning process.
  • Anticonvulsant medication may have detrimental side effects such as slowed reaction time, clumsiness, poor hand coordination, difficulty focusing of the eyes.
  • Increased absences if grand mal seizures are not well controlled with medication.
  • Due to complex partial seizures, memory deficits may occur.
  • Effects of medication and chronic disorder can result in clouded thinking.

Assisting a student if a seizure occurs:

  • Stay calm and reassure other students.
  • Do call the appropriate contact on campus for medical emergencies; this would be SECURITY and they can be reached at 507-389-2111.
  • Ease student to the floor.
  • Remove objects that could injure the student.
  • Do not try to stop the seizure or try to restrain the student.
  • Never put anything in the mouth. Turn the head so the tongue does not slip to the back of the throat and interfere with breathing.
  • Do not attempt to revive a student who turns pale, breathes irregularly or stops breathing. The seizure will end and the student will breathe on his own.
  • Reassure a student who has had a seizure that you understand.
  • Attempt to give a student some privacy if bladder incontinence occurs after a grand mal seizure.
  • Allow a student to rest after experiencing a grand mal seizure. The student may be disoriented and very tired.
  • Do not give food or liquid until the seizure has passed.
  • Check the student's enrollment card and contact the person listed to call in an emergency.