A majority of individuals in this part of Africa, Nigeria precisely, witnessed and grew up to believe that inserting a spoon in the mouth of a convulsing patient is one of the best ways to tackle convulsion, without knowing that this is quite unnecessary and harmful to the individual you think you are helping at that moment.
We saw our mothers and grandmothers rush to the kitchen to get a very hard spoon whenever a child experiences this attack. While some claimed that the spoon will prevent the child from biting his/her tongue, others said if the teeth gnash for a long time, it could lead to instant death. However, I’m here to tell you that inserting spoons in the mouth of a convulsive patient does not in any way save the day.
First, what is convulsion? A convulsion is a general term that people use to describe uncontrollable muscle contractions. Some people may use it interchangeably with the word “seizure,” although a seizure refers to an electrical disturbance in the brain. Seizures may cause a person to have convulsions, but this is not always the case.
Having understood what convulsion is, let us now examine some better ways to tackle it effectively without injuring the already affected individual with a spoon.
First, take off sharp objects around: the first step you should take when you come in contact with a convulsive patient experiencing a seizure is to make sure the place is free from any form of sharp object. Rather than rushing to your kitchen to get a spoon, channel that energy to removing chairs, tables, wood or any object that can harm the individual. This is because, at that moment, the affected individual becomes unconscious and peradventure he/she gets pierced by an object, this becomes another big issue and if the object is a very dangerous one, it may even lead to death, so make sure you clear off the area of attack before any other thing.
Second, loosen any tight material: Another important step to take at a critical moment like this is to untie any tight material on the convulsive patient’s body. Loosen things such as belts, ties, wristwatches and so on. This will go a long way to aid the free flow of blood and help the body to be at ease. Convulsion as we all know is usually an acute situation, but sometimes it goes by itself after some period so there is no need to panic if you happen to come in contact with a patient.
Allow free air passage and don’t restrict the movement of the individual: another thing you can do to help a convulsing patient is by creating a free atmosphere for fresh air to come into the area if it’s an enclosed or stuffy area. Ventilation can go a long way to help in such a situation and probably save the day. Also, do not restrict the movement of the affected individual as this can worsen the situation. Just make sure the area is free from any harmful object and keep on close eye on him/her during this moment of seizure. Seizures in a normal circumstance last for like 30 seconds to two minutes. When it extends to five minutes or more it becomes an emergency case that demands the immediate attention of a doctor.
In addition, encourage your convulsive friend to visit the doctor regularly as this could be helpful. A doctor will be able to conduct a perfect examination on him or her and ascertain the main cause of the seizure and consequently provide invaluable solutions to the problem. Also, if you have a child that frequently experiences seizures, you should not leave them alone for a long time as you never can tell when it may occur.
Moreso, epilepsy which triggers convulsions is not contagious as some people think it is. I see a lot of people avoiding and maintaining their space whenever a person has a seizure while claiming that the affected individual’s saliva can transfer this health complication to them. Get rid of this erroneous thought and be of help to any convulsing patient, it is not contagious.
Also, in the cause of helping the convulsing patient, you should bear in mind that they are quite unconscious and don’t comprehend what’s going on. So it’s your duty to guard yourself and them. Be careful not to let your hands get close to the mouth of the affected individual to avoid accidental bites. There’s also a popular myth that during a seizure, a person can swallow his tongue, this is all false and a case of such has never been seen.
In conclusion, you should be conversant with some important steps to take when a person around you is convulsing. Some of these above-mentioned measures and pieces of advice can save a life, but when a seizure begins to take long, rush the person to the hospital immediately or call the doctor to avoid a tearful end. With this, I am convinced that you will definitely stop using that hard spoon to injure that convulsive patient who you believed you were helping.
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