Fire EMS

Status Seizures: A BLS Approach

Issue 5 and Volume 161.

BY MICK MESSOLINE Seizures are one of the more common EMS dispatches. Although most patients stop seizing prior to the fire department’s arrival, some seizures continue after intervention. By definition, these patients are critical and require a great deal of attention. A seizure is a temporary change in behavior or consciousness caused by abnormal electrical activity in one or more neuron groups in the brain. A status or recurrent seizure is continuous seizure activity lasting 30 minutes or longer, without regaining consciousness. Although the definitions of both seizure and status seizure are important, the causes are far more significant to prehospital providers. Knowing the causes of seizures will help the first responder establish a treatment plan and minimize surprises. Seizures have multiple causes. Some are medical; others are environmental or trauma related. Common causes include stroke, head trauma, toxins, hypoxia, drug overdose, eclampsia (pregnancy related), tumor, infection, metabolic, epilepsy, hypoglycemia,…

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