On 4th July 2015, the educators of 'Udgam School for Children' attended a 'Seminar on Epilepsy', conducted by the renowned paediatric-neurologist of Ahmedabad Dr. Siddharth Shah. The session rolled out touching upon the common symptoms of fainting and it's remedial measures. Dr Shah went on to elaborate about the symptomatic causes,remedial and the myths surrounding epilepsy,how in a way it is different from fainting, the way we all have grown up understanding.
Doctor went on to differentiate how Epilepsy is different from Fainting. While fainting is caused due to lack of oxygen in the brain, epilepsy or epileptic seizures is a result of disturbance(s) in the electrical activity of the brain.
In a very lucid but easy to comprehend pedagogy, Doctor shared clips on the the two basic types of seizures the Petit Mal and the Grand Mal. He elaborated on what to do when a child faces a sudden attack of seizure. Belying all myths and pre-conceived notions, he categorically educated each one of us with the few basic first aid steps to be taken. He reiterated upon the fact that one should stay calm, move away objects like furniture, bottles, sharp objects etc away and take quick note of the time when the seizure starts. Next, the head of the victim should be cushioned in case he has collapsed on the ground. He pointed out categorically not to press/hold the child down nor to put anything in his/her mouth as it may prove fatal, chances are of choking and hence asphyxiation. But after having taken all these preventive measures if the seizure still continues beyond five minutes, call for ambulance/medical help.
Doctor highlighted the fact that epilepsy should not be considered a stigma and the parents ought to update the school authorities of the medical condition of the child, thus updating and enabling the teachers to take all measures, should there be an exigency. With proper measures,precautions, awareness and medication, an epileptic child can lead a normal and healthy life.
The session rounded off with a Q&A session, with Doctor fielding and graciously addressing all the queries of the respondents. The Post session informal vibes, which one could sense and pickup were sounding very very positive, with takeaways for each of us not just for our own immediate family, but for Udgam, society and ecosystem at large.