November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to brush up on the epilepsy preparedness in your workplace. With an estimated 50 million people worldwide suffering from this condition, you need to be ready if a customer, employee, or visitor ever suffers a seizure.
Being able to handle this kind of event is an important part of workplace safety. That is why you should train yourself and all of your employees to spot the signs of an impending seizure and be proactive about stepping in. In order to make sure that everyone who comes into your business is safe, follow this guide.
Recognizing the Signs of Epilepsy
Seizures are one of the most common and dramatic symptoms of epilepsy. When someone begins having one, it is crucial to step in immediately to protect the epileptic and the people around them. It is hard to make generalizations about the nature of epileptic seizures because they present themselves in many forms, but it is important to watch out for certain common signs of an impending seizure.
- A distant, unbroken stare or periods of rapid blinking
- Stiffening of the body and jerking of the arms and legs
- Sudden breathing problems
- Loss of bladder control
- Falling for no apparent reason
It is often easier for the epileptic to predict the onset of a seizure than the people around them. Watch out for the tell tale signs, and be sure to respond quickly if someone in your business announces that a seizure is coming on.
Helping a Person Having an Epileptic Seizure
There is no easy way for an untrained medical professional to stop a seizure, but there are steps that you and your employees can take to keep an epileptic in the midst of an episode safe.
- Help the person lie down, and place something under their head
- Remove the person’s glasses, purse, or backpack and loosen any clothing around the neck
- Move any hard or sharp objects away from the person
- Make sure someone is with the epileptic at all times
- Do not place anything in the mouth of someone having a seizure
The final and most important step that you can take is to ensure that you and everyone around the epileptic stay calm. This can be a dramatic moment, but if you keep a cool head and reassure the spectators that everything will be OK you can avoid panic and confusion. If the person is hurt in the episode you need to call 911, but if they are a known epileptic with a history of seizures a medical intervention may not be necessary.
Being prepared for the needs of epileptics must be a part of your workplace safety initiative. Include response training as part of your employee orientation, and put up the necessary signage to remind everyone that safety is a paramount concern. With the right preparation, you can protect everyone who walks through your door.
Image Source: perchedinatree.blogspot.com/2012/11/three-things-november-means.html